Let me guess, you're already over the Federal election campaign and we have still got weeks to go. I know it is easy to get frustrated when politics seems to focus on personalities, semantics, a single election cycle timeframes (at most) and lip service. It's even harder when both our local seats are very safe.
But I also know that we are all concerned about the future and have our own ideas about what our governments should be doing to help deliver us that future. Do you know the candidates' policies for your areas of interest or concern? Moreover, do the candidates in your area know what matters to you? You may not want to "be political" (I don't) but there are plenty of "squeaky wheels" out there, letting their opinions be known. If you aren't adding your voice to the conversation, you run the risk that your opinion is not being represented.
Ok, so what can you do?
You don't have to settle for the sound bites offered by the media. Investigate the policies of both our local federal candidates and those for the senate. Even better, get in touch with them and ask them what they will do to address the issues that matter to you. Meet them when they come to town, leave a phone message at their office, write a letter, email, tweet, whatever takes your fancy.
Oh, and you might want to check out these local sources of political information:
- The brand new Our Voice: Politics Albury Wodonga blog, where you can hear interviews with the candidates for both Farrer and Indi, as well as read and contribute opinions.
- ABC Goulburn Murray will also be hosting a weekly politics chat on Gaye Pattison's morning show and a blog, featuring Albury's Dave Gaukroger who blogs here and here.
- The Border Mail has already run some articles profiling local candidates and will no doubt continue. It and the free local papers are also an opportunity to share your views through the letters to the editor.
- And I'm told that News Weekly has just commenced a "Pollies Corner" column, to feature articles from our state and federal MPs (although I haven't managed to check out a copy myself just yet!).
I know this sounds a bit like a GetUp! promotion, and that's probably because I share some of their views. They aren't a political party, and they aren't promoting a particular party. They do want us all (and the pollies!) to engage with the political process and to ensure the upcoming elections, both federal and state, are about issues and policies not the hot air we have been subjected to of late.