What sort of behaviour do we expect in our elected officials? Are we getting what we voted for? Several events of late have given cause for reflection on this topic, both on a local level as well as state and federally.
As voters, as taxpayers, as responsible members of a community, we look to our three tiers of government to keep our best interests at the heart of all they do. Perhaps that's a touch naive given the reality of party politics and the great intricacies of government dealings, but it's certainly what we should be striving for and indeed demanding when it's not apparent.
Which topics they debate and where they spend their (our) money should directly reflect those priorities.
We have local government elections coming up on December 4, with nominations for candidates already open.
What are you looking for when making your choices as to which boxes to tick?
Is it the candidate's proven efforts on behalf of their community? Their dedication to improving the lot of those around them? Putting their community ahead of themselves?
Is it their personality and approachability? Someone who seems fair and reasonable and will take your issues to the chambers for robust, constructive debate. Let's admit we're not expected to agree with every decision made, but if the process is open and fairly argued we can at least be thankful our voice is heard.
I'd argue your decision is not who can create the most discord, who can be the most argumentative in debate around the table, or who is warming a chair in local government purely as a stepping stone into career politics, or to feather their own nest.
The councillors are in the chamber representing us, the residents and ratepayers who voted them in. As are the MPs we install in their respective seats in state and federal parliaments.
Let's demand better of them all.