The value of ‘having a go’

Last weekend I stood on a polling booth for 10 hours handing out how to votes and seeking to convince voters to elect me as an independent to the Central Coast Council. Others, including Ruth Medd, graciously gave up all or half of their days to do the same. Many heart-warming and humourous interactions with other polling booth workers and voters made the day go relatively quickly. Our pitch was strong and we were feeling good.
Sadly, as the votes were counted and we watched the toll rise, we knew we had fallen short of our goal and so I remain but a humble ratepayer in our new large amalgamated Council area. However, the experience was well worth it and I learnt much.
  • The usual ones of never having enough time, energy or resources to campaign early and hard. In particular to combat the major parties who mainly campaign on their armies and name alone, rather than the quality of their candidates. In many cases voters had no idea who the candidates were, but voted the way they do at State and Federal elections anyway – lack of interest being a key issue.
  • The rather scary lack of awareness of the role and function of various levels of Government among the general population. This feeds what I believe is the sad politicisation of local government, in particular as several political staffers from both Liberal and Labor stood and were elected. Great potential for conflict of interest I would have thought – move over property developers!
  • Support from friends and others you might have expected to get behind you evaporates when you need it most. This can get you down, but on the other side of the ledger it comes from others (often strangers) when you least expect it, which is much appreciated.
All in all, it was a valuable experience that taught me much about myself - my strengths, my areas for development and my need for greater awareness when it comes to looking out for others. So yes, it was worth it…and for those asking…yes, I will probably have another go at politics sometime in the future.
Enjoy your weekend – I’m taking three days of R&R at the snow!
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