Oh dear Professor Black, lecturer in Politics at Curtin Uni (quoted in the Southern Gazette), so you vote according to who lives nearest to you? Around here I like to believe that we vote for whoever best represents our values, shares our view for the future and is likely to promote the sort of community that we hope to pass on to the next generation. Isn’t that what participating in democracy is ...all about? So you don’t like the idea that compulsory voting would engage everyone in the issues of the day and would help people to take notice of their Councils?
Surely a more honest view is that Councils have a vital role in grassroots democracy, giving voice to all of us. In South Perth our City’s Mission is about “Working Together to Create a City for Everyone”. This everyone includes more than just special interest groups. It surely includes the forty per cent who live in rental houses, the thirty two per cent single parent families, the students who stay a few years, the Homes West tenants, the FIFO mine workers, the new arrivals who’ve escaped danger to share our wonderful country and even the homeless lady and her bicycle.
The real question is around what we see as the role of Council, representing our entire community, and how we come together to build a shared, safe and positive future for all of us and for the generations ahead.