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Friday, 19 April 2019 08:24 pm

Why can’t politicians just…talk to us?

Sep 12th, 2008 | By | Category: Opinion

I’M A FAN of listening to politicians talk about projects that are dear to their hearts, when they are not politicking, just addressing issues in a thoughtful and considered way.

Listening to Jim Anderton addressing a seminar on The Role of Media in Suicide Prevention, I thought – if only we could have more of this from our politicians.

Maybe we should do away with election campaigns. At election time, we could be given a list of candidates from each party. The list would be released 12 weeks before the election, so we as voters would have the same time frame to consider our votes as we have now with the present campaigning system.

Instead of the candidates being allowed to bore us by either slagging each other off to get our attention, or backpedaling furiously in an attempt to avoid our attention to things they don’t want us to know about them, we should just make our decisions on their speeches, voting and other behaviour from the parliamentary term that has just been.

There is plenty of information out there already about all of them. We can just Google anyone we want to know anything about.

Voters who don’t have access to computers themselves could go to their local library and ask the information desk for any data they want. Although this would require more resources at libraries, the money saved by not having the politicians travelling around campaigning would easily cover it.

This system would obviously do away with the need for donations to the campaigns, and we wouldn’t have to be bothered with tedious dramas about who gave what to whom, and why. And the parties wouldn’t have to struggle with the complexities of the Electoral Finance Act.

Perhaps we could go back to the quaint, old fashioned notion of parties putting out manifestoes explaining what they stand for, and how they plan to govern the country. This would give a fair go to aspiring MPs who don’t yet have a track record, we could vote for them along party lines (half of them will only be on party lists anyway, not standing in an electorate).

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is a Whitireia Journalism student.
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