In connection with the coming rates rises, Adam Crouch says that ‘it’s completely unfair for ratepayers to have to pay for the mistakes and failings of the councillors’ (“IPART decides on special rate increase”, PP 014), but this is just standard political bunkum and not to be taken seriously.
Who voted these nincompoops into office, if it wasn’t the ratepayers?
You get the government you deserve, and, if donkey voters are going to prevail in our elections, we shall continue to have a city run by incompetent political hacks, motivated only by self-interest and ideological animosity.
Even if none of the ousted crop ever runs again, the Parties will replace them with similar, faceless clones and rely on mindless above-the-line voting to engineer much the same kind of representation as we have had before.
The idea of reducing the number of councillors is one of the worst ever put forward, because it will lay even more emphasis on political affiliation as an identifier.
What we need is elimination of party affiliations being shown on the ballot paper and discontinuance of above-the-line voting.
Even better would be the institution of 15 one-member wards and a requirement that any candidate live in the ward for which he/she is standing.
Local government is supposed to be about connection with the community, but it would be an odds-on bet that the big majority of ratepayers couldn’t name one councillor from the ward in which they vote at present.
This is how candidates can promise to be “open and transparent”, while knowing that they will never be brought to account, because nobody will remember their names.
Of course, I agree with Adam Couch to the extent that making good for the current financial imbroglio shouldn’t fall on ratepayers at large: that is completely unfair.
The burden should fall on those who elected the late, unlamented cabal into office.
Unfortunately, with a secret-ballot system, we can’t identify them, and none of them is going to own up to the calamitous result of their poor judgement, although, if they had a shred of conscience, they would take the blame honestly and let the rest of us off the financial hook they have caught us on.
I’d lay money that some of those now most vehement in opposition to the rate rises were enthusiastic supporters of the candidates who have brought us to this pass.
Email, May 25
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy