VOTE FOR YOUR FUTURE
COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS SAYS: IT’S NOT YOUR RIGHT, IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
PERTH’S residents have a woeful record of voting in local government elections and it’s well beyond time that changed.
Quite frankly, if you can’t be bothered checking a box on a ballot paper that has been delivered to your house and then taking it to a mailbox, you have no right to complain about all of the things councils do that affect your daily life.
At the local government elections in 2013 and 2015, an average of just 35 per cent voted in the City of Fremantle council election. Across metropolitan Perth, the average was an appalling 27.5 per cent.
Do you not care about the impost of rates on your hip pocket during tough economic times?
Are you unconcerned about high-rise buildings popping up in surrounding streets?
Concerned your street has become a raceway for young hoons? Did you vote?
Postal votes will arrive in your letterbox from September 27 if there is a contest in your area.
We implore you to fill it in and take it straight to the mailbox. It is your duty and responsibility.
VOTE: That’s the message from University of Notre Dame politics and international relations associate professor Martin Drum, who says despite it playing an important role, local government is often under-estimated.
“It’s important because so many aspects of our day-to-day lives are impacted by their decisions,” he said.
“For instance, the local applications for development which your neighbour submits, or a business which operates next to you.
“There’s also the curation of recreational spaces which many of us use every day, or it might be that your local street isn’t up to scratch.
“I suspect there are many people who complain about these things yet might not vote in local government elections.”
Dr Drum said while he believed more people should vote, overall numbers would be unlikely to increase until a more user-friendly form of voting was available.
“I wonder whether postal votes are effective in facilitating high voter turnout for local government, so I think the overall trend will be slightly down,” he said.
“A trial of online voting at local government level would be worth considering for the next election.
“Every level of government should be responsive and accountable to the commun- ities they represent but while voter turn-out is low, this accountability is not as comprehensive as it should be.
“Voting helps us think about and discuss what we expect from a local representative, which is a healthy thing to do.”
The elections are on October 21.
Shelia Davies, Gail Williams and Jess Nesbitt will be voting in the local goverment elections.
Martin Drum says we should all vote.