As Kermit the Frog tells us, ‘It’s not easy being green’.
However, it does appear to be easy to be negative; and we humans seem to respond to negativity a little more readily than I think is good for us.
This observation is only reinforced at local council election time. Partly because of changes to the electoral rules, we now have a ‘Cup field’ of candidates standing in Bass Coast, many of whom seem to rely heavily on the same basic approach to seeking our votes.
First of all they tell us what a dreadful job that the present council is doing (that’s not difficult to do, the council hasn’t been perfect, no organisation is, and we all probably have some pet beef about something that has or hasn’t happened in the last four years).
The thing is that the candidates don’t then actually tell us what they would have done to have handled the situation any better; the assumption seems to be that because they have been able to identify an ‘issue’ (that’s not too hard, reading almost any edition of this paper would allow them to do that), they would necessarily be better at ‘running things’.
Well I for one feel that that leaves something of a credibility gap.
The second ‘plank’ in the platform is of course how spendthrift the council is.
Once again we are told that they (the candidates) would do ‘something’ about it – and once again we are never told exactly what. I think it’s easy to say, ‘I would cut down on consultants’ for example, but I’d like to know what programs are the economies that are hinted at, but never explained in detail, going to affect? Old people? The young? Recreation/ tourism? The environment?
I certainly don’t want the rates I pay to be wasted but neither do I think that keeping expenditure down is the only criterion by which a council, or any level of government, should be judged.
Whether we like it or not our local councils have been given responsibility for a wide range of areas, many of which will shape the future of the area in which we live.
So, I for one, am looking for some indication of what ideas the candidates are offering which can have a positive impact on the running of the council and our community now and into the future.
And when I do that, I am rather sad to say, the ‘Cup field’ is quickly reduced to a much smaller group to choose from.
Harry Freeman, West Creek.