Voting is an amazing opportunity.
The secret ballot is an Australian invention. It is our gift to the world to protect every voter from peer group pressure.
We can all take our time to think about our values and which candidates will be true to them.
However, I see casting a vote as the end of the election process.
What gives the vote its great value is the community debate that comes before it – a debate engaged in by people from the whole political spectrum.
When any election is announced most people turn to those who nominate to drive the discussion.
This has positives and negatives, and on some occasions those who nominate drive the narrative at the expense of the voters.
My goal in this election is to engage with as many people as possible and to encourage them to share their ideas and values with their families and friends, their work mates and most of all with people who have differing views from their own.
This conversation should be embraced and enjoyed by all of us, leading to a deeper understanding of other people’s beliefs and desires within our community.
This is the true gift of democracy – the true power of the vote, the huge confluence of ideas making up our community as we see it today.
In the past two weeks I have been invited to numerous information sessions, workshops and meetings; an Ice Rehabilitation Program which is being defunded, a meeting of the North-West Rail Alliance about the return of passenger train service, the film Ka-Ching Pokie Nation about the Australian love affair with gambling, and the Love Food Hate Waste popup kitchen at Mildura Eco House to name but a few.
These events show that we have great dialogue about all manner of issues in our community.
Our discussions, our input and creative interaction give our municipality its vibrancy, strength and spirit. So get out there, listen, talk, share, act. Let’s be a creative and active community.
Our community and democracy will be better for it.
Mildura Council candidate