Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - Gio­vanne Torre Reporter

FOR peo­ple work­ing in the me­dia, or in pol­i­tics, there is a dan­ger of fall­ing into the trap of as­sumed knowl­edge. It is easy to for­get how many peo­ple feel com­pletely dis­con­nected from al­most every as­pect of the po­lit­i­cal process, and in­deed don't know how the vot­ing sys­tem - let alone Par­lia­ment works. A pub­lic largely un­aware of de­ci­sions made in their name, and the as­so­ci­ated im­pacts, is vul­ner­a­ble. This level of alien­ation is dan­ger­ous. A cul­ture that fo­cuses on the drama of per­son­al­ity clashes, rather than the prac­ti­cal im­pact of po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions, feeds into this. Civics classes in schools should seek to in­stil un­der­stand­ing of the im­por­tance of en­gag­ing with the po­lit­i­cal process, and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the power they can wield work­ing col­lec­tively. One way of mit­i­gat­ing the ad­verse ef­fects of alien­ated po­lit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions is to de­volve de­ci­sion-mak­ing power to com­mu­nity level.

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