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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Tuesday May 21, 2002
07:43 AM

More local than others

[ #5117 ]
Dear Log,

As true in the UK (where it was written) as in the US (where I read it):

«Everyone claims to care about local democracy - but many secretly think it is petty and dull. Some people, in effect, are more "local" than others, and this is, fundamentally, a class issue. If you live in private housing, have a car, send your children to private schools (or have none) the council may seem to do little except empty your bins. If you are, say, a council tenant, elderly, with no car, your life is lived very locally indeed and issues like the state of the paving slabs (unevenness may trip you as you walk to the shops) are of real concern.»

--"Every little thing counts"

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  • Hm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pudge (1) on 2002.05.21 12:43 (#8642) Homepage Journal
    I just went to the annual town meeting last night, and had it not been for my daughter's birth, I'd still be on the town finance committee.

    The moderator started off the meeting noting that this is one of the most pure forms of democracy left. Everyone in the town has an equal voice at town meeting, where all the major decisions for the year are made. Of course, it's rare that the people really understand the issues at hand, and they usually just go along with the recommendations of the selectmen (town council).

    But people do have options in a very real sense. Last night people ignorantly voted down something recommended by all the leadership of the town, a simple provision to allow the selectmen to approve permits for holiday displays, shortening the time needed to get the permit. People thought that it would require people to get permits for all holiday displays, while in reality it just streamlined the process for existing permit requirements. So it was voted down. Yay democracy! Power to the people!

    Anyway, a lot of it is pretty silly, but someone has to take care of it.
  • Local elections (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Matts (1087) on 2002.05.21 17:02 (#8657) Journal
    At our recent local elections only 3 parties took part: Labour, Conservative, and the UK Independance Party. This is for a town the size of Gloucester re-electing their entire chamber! I was incensed, and ended up not voting (as did my wife) - I'd rather choose nothing than the best of three bad options.

    So it seems that it's not just residents who don't take local politics seriously, but also the political parties.
    • I don't mean to lecture, but what else do you expect (if not personally implicated in politics) than to get to choose between "the best of three bad options"? I would have thought, or at least hoped, that the recent events in various european coutries and notably the french presidentials would have shown people that a bad option is indeed better than a worse option. The fact that there is no dream team doesn't make it less important.

      What are the rules in the UK for parties that run for local elect

      --

      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • I merely wish for my party of choice to have enough interest to actually put up candidates. I'm not talking about some loony edge party either - I'm talking about the Liberal Democrats, who regularly receive about 20% of the votes in this country.

        I don't think it's too much to ask for, however I will say I felt no small amount of guilt when actually not voting. And it's not like I decided to completely abstain and stay away - I was actually at the polling booth at the time, and given that the two choices w
        • I didn't mean to cast a stone, and I know how hard it can be to vote for someone that isn't in accordance with your views... In your case I'd probably have hesitated between the lesser evil and a blank vote (well, as you know in your case I'd have voted Labour, but that's another story ;-).

          As for govt funding of elections, I don't think the way it's done here is perfect, but it also isn't too bad. It was created to avoid the abuses that parties went through in order to fund themselves (mostly vario

          --

          -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]