By Michael Giles

THERE is something wrong with a system of voting that allows relatively unpopular troublemakers to be elected purely because they’ve been able to assemble a stable of wood ducks to boost their vote.
For local government elections, a first-past-the-post system would be a lot better than a preferential voting system.
The only way for voters to ensure that their vote is not abused in this way is to make an effort to find three people they ‘prefer’ over the others.
Having found their three preferred candidates, they also need to ensure that they number all of the boxes, when their ballot papers come out next week, in the order that they prefer, not how they are told to vote by someone else.
And you should at least be wary of those candidates who are banding together, allegedly to “share the costs” associated with mailing voters their information.
You would want to ask, are these people really independent or are they trying to manipulate the situation?
What it means is that you’ll have to do a bit of your own leg work to be sure you have found genuine candidates, who not only have the ability to do the job but who also have a community track record and would be able to work with others to get good outcomes for the community, as opposed to themselves or the shire’s administration.
And you’ll not find a lot of what you need on the VEC website where information has been restricted and nobbled by the State Government.
Take the opportunity to engage the candidates in conversation if they attend public events or come knocking. You’ll soon get the drift.
Or you could attend a candidate Q&A session in your area (Korumburra Senior Citizens Centre Wednesday, September 28 7pm for Strzelecki candidates and voters). Failing that, ask around for advice from friends.
If you’re sick of being represented by dud councillors, who allow our money to be wasted on consultants, executive salaries and dumb ideas, while allowing the administration to keep most of what they are doing (or not doing) secret; it’s time to take an interest.