“The ultimate rulers of our democracy are… the voters.” Sir Richard Branson
If there was an election held today on voter participation in Hawke’s Bay apathy would win in a landslide.
If anyone bothered to vote, that is…
I did a bit of research and found for the last four local body elections – coming up on 14 years now, less than 50 percent of registered Napier voters have exercised their democratic right.
I could only trace records for the Hastings District Council elections back three elections, but they were even worse!
That’s pretty stink.
As a result of voter apathy, elected rulers of our region have largely attained or kept their positions of power thanks to the majority of a minority.
That’s not good enough.
But voter apathy could cause even more harm to our region if such a trend continues.
The vote on whether to keep Hawke’s Bay’s current governance system, or amalgamate the region’s five councils can’t have escaped many people’s attention – even more so in recent weeks with the mailing out of election papers and the ramping up of rhetoric from both sides.
Rather than being a shining example of how local body politics and an electoral system SHOULD work, it has steadily degenerated into an embarrassing farce for our region as the debate wore on.
There have been empty promises and even emptier slogans. Claims and counterclaims of cooperation and competition. Heck, both sides have even resorted to name-calling.
All that’s left is spitting, scratching and biting.
It’s basically become one big Taylor Swift song, just without the teenaged boys’ fantasy of music video.
Had all the money that’s been spent on placards, postcards and pushing different points of view (just how much does buying a front page wrap-around “advertisement” on multiple local newspapers cost these days?) been put to better use, many of the problems our region currently faces – and many of the reasons for the big-spending side’s existence could have been dealt with!
All this could have been avoided by one simple action – a MAJORITY of the population voting!
So here is your chance – Do some research, make an informed decision, tick a box and VOTE!
This is OUR region and WE get ultimate say in how it is governed!