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How would you like to be engaged?

By Iain Morriss - 30 May 2009 11

The ACT Chief Minister’s office is asking the community to talk to it about how we like to be engaged by Government.  Surveys, meetings, online etc.  The consultation is, in part through and online forum which can be found by clicking on this link.

The forum is open until July 20.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
How would you like to be engaged?
RayP 12:26 pm 31 May 09

Housebound,

I have now looked at the site and so far only six people have commented.

And many of their comments express scepticism.

This is consistent with the comments that I made in my previous post.

This may be more significant than many people might think.

If, because of scepticism, the current government is unable to effectively consult with its electorate then it might be in serious trouble politically.

One of the worst things for a politician is when the people just switch off and stop listening. This happened to Keating and Howard. Once the people stopped listening there was nothing they could do. It means death for a Government.

It seems to me that if the people decide that the Government’s not interested in what they have to say, and they stop talking, then maybe they will also stop listening. At the least, this might be very close.

So it could be good to hear what is happening in the various consultation processes. If people don’t turn up or remain sceptical then the Government might be in serious trouble.

It may be critical to the future of the Stanhope Labor Government that people turn up and come to believe that they are being listened to in the decisions that are then made.

Otherwise, they may just be waiting for the next election…

deezagood 10:59 am 31 May 09

Clown Killer said :

Once evry four years is more than enough. Anything else indicated either an innability to make a decision or a desire to pander to minority self interest groups.

Disagree Clownkiller; public consulations/submissions from the public can actually highlight major problems with development projects that the project managers themselves haven’t thought through. Knowing about the problems in advance enables the project managers to mitigate against the problems. Sometimes governments do have to make hard and unpopular decisions (eg. school closures – no amount of consultation will ever make school closures palatable to a community) but willingly engaging with communities affected and making them part of the process will reduce the anger and feelings of utter helplessness that stem from being taken by surprise. Of course there must be consultation for large development projects and projects that significantly impact on communities. It is also good PR. Imagine, if you will, the difference between just waking up one day and finding out that your school is on the to-close list (without any warning) and a government that, 12 months prior to the intended closure, meets with the community, personally explains the demographic data that lead to the school being on the ‘chopping block’, explains possible benefits to the community in terms of what that closed facility will be used for, explains how the current students will be catered to, shows some empathy for the distress that this news will cause, and gives residents a chance to get their grievences off their chest in person and in writing. End result is the same, but at least the community feels that somebody gives a crap about their welfare.

Devil_n_Disquiz 9:56 am 31 May 09

To a female would be nice.

Thumper 9:05 am 31 May 09

We’ve had years and years of no consultation and suddenly we have consutlation about consultation?

How cynical can you get…

Clown Killer 8:56 am 31 May 09

Once evry four years is more than enough. Anything else indicated either an innability to make a decision or a desire to pander to minority self interest groups.

housebound 9:24 pm 30 May 09

They’ve asked for responses. Why not just tell them what you think?

GB 8:58 pm 30 May 09

RayP is spot on. Just because ‘consultation’ is buzzword of the year, every process has to go through a tortuous pretence of participatory democracy.

But if they don’t, they get pilloried by the shouters (including myself on occasion).

It would be a brave government (or even bureaucrat) that put out a media release saying “no ‘consultation’ process will be conducted on this issue: we know what people think pretty well, and we’ve made up our mind”. Or even “you voted for a government that said it was doing X, so now we’re doing X”.

I can feel engaged pretty well without being consulted personally.

54-11 6:40 pm 30 May 09

Andrew Barr has just called in the car park at TCH, because he reagrds some of the objections to be “politically motivated and frivolous”. So all the hard work put in by poeple who have put in thoughtful and useful feedback to the ACTPLA consultation process are simply left out of the process.

Why would anyone in this jurisdiction even bother to respond to any of the sham consultation engaged in by this useless and out of touch Stanhope government?

I used to be involved with various planning bodies (LAPAC and the like) but got so frustrated by the attitude of the (then majority) Stanhope government that I gave it all away a few years ago. Very few public-spirited people now get involved at all, as so many of us have had such negative experiences.

Stanhope, don’t even bother consulting with me, because you only treat anyone who has a contrary view to yours with complete and utter contempt.

BerraBoy68 5:29 pm 30 May 09

Cool. I like being consulted about how I like to be consulted. I’m just wondering if Jon consulted a consultant come up with the idea of consulting people about how they like to be consulted, or whether there was no consultation. I want to know.

RayP 5:24 pm 30 May 09

I think that a key problem for the current Stanhope Labor Government is that beyond the various techniques of consulting with people, a key issue is whether the people being consulted really believe that those doing the consulting are actually genuinely interested in what they have to say.

If people believe that someone is genuinely interested in what they have to say then all sorts of possibly inept methods might work reasonably well.

If people don’t believe that someone is genuinely interested in what they have to say then the best possible techniques implemented in the best possible way probably won’t work very well.

I think it is going to be very hard for the Stanhope Labor Government to convince people that it is genuinely interested in what they have to say.

There is much history which would make people sceptical. The consultation on school closures is but one example which seems to be alive in people’s memories.

And there are the continued day by day responses to criticism. These do not give the impression that the Stanhope Labor Government is genuinely interested in the views of others.

andy pandy 4:30 pm 30 May 09

I hope Jon doesn’t take this badly but I just can’t see myself getting engaged to him.

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