In the effort of fairness and equality, here is Damian Light’s responses to the pilot questions that made Northcote Politics possible. Another interesting read, may I add. Without further a do:
What is democracy to you?
Democracy to me means a government that listens and engages with the public it serves. It literally translates into government of the people, but it’s more than just representation. For me it means a government for the people, not for itself. Decisions made in the best interests of people, not just about getting re-elected. That’s why MMP is better than old election methods like First Past the Post, because more voices can be heard, not just the loudest or richest ones.
What is the importance of election campaigns?
Elections are a chance for the public to decide the direction of the country (or council). They’re a bit messy at times but elections are effectively how the people empower our representatives to govern. The candidates and parties put their policies forward, their ideas and their solutions. The public then gets to decide who best fits them, each with their own point of view.
It’s also an opportunity for people to be heard and discuss their concerns with the parties and candidates. I always encourage people to get involved and ask the tough questions. I think politicians should always be listening and involved, but at election time they have little choice.
Should election campaigns consist of large groups or one on one sessions?
I think there is value in both – large groups mean that lots of people can hear the questions and answers that others have. not everyone wants to ask a question, some are happy to listen. Smaller groups or one on one is important too because you can really get down to the details. During election time I like the public forums where people get to ask questions, then I always hang around afterwards so people can follow up.
At what point should the public accept what their politicians are doing?
The public should always be keeping an eye on the politicians – yes we should be able to trust them, but they’re human too. We need to keep engaging with them, making sure they understand what we expect from them and what we think of their behaviour. We get that chance at election time but we should be always doing it.
As a member of the public, it’s nice to be noticed, I know that much! Thanks for this, Damian.
Hope you enjoyed his responses as well!