Democracy and elections – noble compromise in an imperfect world

Democracy and elections – noble compromise in an imperfect world
Simon Harvey

The Kensington Association and the North and West Melbourne Association invite you to meet the candidates in the Victorian State Election for the seat of Melbourne (Assembly) and the Northern Metropolitan Region (Council) on Thursday, October 27.

By the way … enrolments for the election close at 8pm on Tuesday, November 8!

Yes, we have an election soon; in my view, not something to be taken likely!

Before long we will walk into a private booth with a list of names of people we know very little about. Our task is to choose which of these people will have the responsibility to represent us on the floor of the Victorian Parliament.

You'd have to say, not an ideal situation; but then, what would an ideal democracy look like? That adage … “don't let the perfect (ideal) be the enemy of the good” … comes to mind. Are democratic governments “good”, despite being built on compromises?

Some would agree with that of well-known old cynic Winston Churchill, who is quoted as saying “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.”

We find it so easy to find fault with politics and politicians, so we don't always appreciate the positives in our system of government. Those who have lived in a non-democratic system are better able to make comparisons and more likely to appreciate the freedoms and privileges we enjoy, but too often take for granted.

So, as a salute to our democracy, as imperfect as it is, the Kensington Association together with the North and West Melbourne Association invite members of our communities, in the lead up to the Victorian Election to meet, listen, communicate and question …

Meet the Candidates – Districts of Melbourne and Northern Metro Region

The event will take place on October 27 from 7pm to 9pm at Kensington Town Hall.

This will a traditional “town hall” style community event, a return to meeting one another in “the flesh”, warts and all. An opportunity to listen to and question the “foible full” human beings (like us all) putting themselves forward to represent you.

For those who can’t make it, or who still find “in person” meetings too risky, you will be able to send in questions and have them answered by listening to a recording of the meeting. Send questions to [email protected] by October 26.

If you don’t have time to have dinner before you leave, some snacky stuff to eat and drink (coffee/tea/herbal tea) will be available for a gold coin donation.

Some further reflection …

If we are only concerned about “efficiency”, many would argue a benevolent dictatorship would be the best form of government, but in a democracy, we have other values that are important.

Although trust in our pollies is not great, if we are going to vote for them, they certainly need to care about what we think and say. Come along to the Town Hall on October 27 and have your say and listen to what the candidates have to say.

Of course, as I have already suggested, it’s not ideal, but there is nevertheless something authentic about meeting face-to-face, and letting our foibles hang out.

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