Is a divided council good for decisions? Good for democracy? Read on to find out my view.
From time to time there are complaints about this council is divided with the implication therefore, that nothing gets done.
Quite the contrary. Thing do get done. And there is a long list in our annual report and the long term community plan. But instead of waltzing through the democratic process without due debate, they get done after evidence is presented, differing views are debated and then voted on, and then council has a binding outcome.
Standing for Public Office.
Standing for public office means people have differing views and robust debate ensures good decisions. That’s what I would call, a democratic decision making process. Making a decision that is robust, taking into account the differing community perspectives and councillor views, and which is then thrashed around, challenged and solutions found.
Robust councils can only be good for decision making and democracy. How else can the views of different communities, different philosophies, and different hues be accommodated for?
Rather than chastising councillors for failing to ‘get in behind’ we should be saying “we got it right”. We have councillors prepared to air their views, fight for their opinions, try and persuade others to their points of view and then collectively agree a decision. Even when the vote is not unanimous, councillors will mostly obey the convention of collective responsibility and stand behind the majority vote. Good active democracy I say.
Tickets are Anti-democratic
I wouldn’t want to be part of a council where one person, the ticket leader or the loudest voice has a view and everybody falls into line behind him or her. That is not democracy in action. That is a dictatorship pretending to be democracy!
I want a council which debates the issues, makes a decision and sticks to it, not a council where councillors sheepishly follow a team leader, or for that matter, one where some councillors think it is ok to appeal their own majority decision as happened recently. That is not democracy.
Cherish a council making robust decisions, echoing the voices of all the community and pray we don’t get one where elected representatives sheepishly bleat behind one voice.
Democracy on the Kapiti Coast deserves better than that.
Other links to democracy : annchap/content/flying-kites-and-questioning-status-quo