Value your vote
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 was often underestimated.
“Its 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 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 that there are many people who complain about these things, yet might not vote.”
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 became 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 communities they represent but while voter turnout 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.