Tuesday, 13th May 2014

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Daily Democracy

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The eagle-eyed and truly cyberconnected among you will have noticed that we've been recently trialling a new polls and surveys app on our Facebook page over the last couple of weeks. What's the point?

Well, here at 'Speccy HQ' we believe that the bigger point about all of our new digital gizmos is not so that we can say more to you our readers, but that we can provide new platforms for you guys to be able to express your opinions.

One of our regular hot topics is of course the 'goings on' of the fine chaps & chapesses in North Down Borough Council. Councillors are those people we elect from time to time to make the important decisions on how the local towns should be run - as paid for by all our rates of course. Traditionally we elect these people and tend to just let them get on with it, and to be fair they do, typically voting on issues as they come along, often in private session, and usually without ever consulting the electorate on specific proposals.

There was a time, for a very long time, that this was the most efficient method of government and it's this system that extends in layers from local town/borough council right up to national governments in London, Dublin etc and even into 'world' councils like the UN. Speccy thinks that the time for this as the only basis for government though may be coming to an end!

We've used our website, Facebook page and now polls app for only a few months but already there are encouraging signs that more and more of you are willing and ready to comment on local affairs, cast your (notional) vote and very definitely make your own individual opinions known.

So what's the point? Well Speccy thinks it would be brilliant, desirable, preferable and very much more of the present time if more council-related matters could be shared with you guys - and cerainly ahead of any final hugely important decisions being taken - to canvass your opinions and to help inform the councillors about the will of the people who elected them in the first place.

These are your towns, this is your borough, these are your facilities and services and it's very definitely your money that pays for it all. The technology is here now, today, so let's all use it more often so that the decisions made in your name are actually the ones you want!






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  • Hey Speccy:

    Like the plan and glad it's all coming together well.

    As one of those who aspires to join the 'chaps and chappesses' around the big table making decisions that affect all of our lives, I hope you will not only continue the polls and discussions, but see numbers of participants grow.

    Spectator readers should be informing decision-making on the Council and I have suggested in these hallowed pages that Parliaments for Business, Young People and our Senior Citizens be formed to discuss issues as they arise and then have their suggestions and ideas fed into the Council's decision-making process. Not just lip-service, mind you, but real influence and input. It's happening elsewhere (notably the Youth Parliament in Derry/L'Derry). So why not in North Down and Ards?

    Democracy requires that we elect a small number of people to take decisions on our behalf. But there's nothing that says that that small number of elected representatives should not encourage debate, ideas and input from the wider community.

    So you're playing your part Speccy - and thanks for it. I only hope that - if successful - I can help influence the other 'chaps and chapesses' that there is merit in involving as many people as possible in determining how our community will evolve.

    Anyway, enough from me for the moment. If you would like to know more about what I consider important, feel free to wander over to www.walker4council.com and let me know what you think.


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