As a person who likes to be involved in my community, and indeed am, politics has become quite a frustration for me lately.
I feel really compelled to join a particular political party on a federal level – happy to disclose, the ALP – because I am completely unimpressed with the various agendas of the other federal players, particularly those that were only ‘clarified’ after the election.
However, on a local level, the ALP appears to have completely lost the plot. I feel that I have personally been enduring years of pathetic attempts at ‘consultation’ about things that have a massively deleterious impact on amenity and quality of life (when it is clear that such consultation is purely a ‘tick in the box’ afterthought, as those decisions had already been made). I know I am not alone! More recently, and to illustrate, Canberrans have been presented with our local government’s crowning non-glory, i.e., the obviously completely daft yet unbelievably costly light rail that will simply duplicate, and still be slower than, the most efficient bus service in town.
Yet it appears that the only way to join political parties is at a local level, which I do not want to do.
I feel my enthusiasm for political involvement is completely devalued in this context. Am I the only one that feels completely disenchanted with politics in general, and local politics in particular?
IMHO, Canberrans who actually live and work in Canberra clearly do not get ‘value for money’ from either sphere. While my best suggestion to heal the ongoing disaster that is our local government is to split the State and local level functions – so we actually feel our vote means something for our local area – present MLAs will be unlikely to take this seriously as they have an obvious incentive to maintain and entrench the status quo.
How on earth have things got to such a low point, and more particularly, how can we fix it?