ENGAGED TO BE….. A serious question as we near the end of a very difficult ye…

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ENGAGED TO BE…..

A serious question as we near the end of a very difficult year in which all our lives have been affected.

Do you feel that you are treated by politicians as an "engaged citizen"? Or, do you feel that government, at all levels, tells you what's going to happen and expects you to accept it.

There are two main schools of thought in the way politicians choose to govern. You give people the chance to vote every four or five years. No matter how few of them choose to do so, if you win the most seats (not even the most votes), they interpret this is a mandate to do whatever they wish for the term of office.

The other method is to constantly engage with citizens, to determine what people want, or at least to explain the reason behind decisions. It doesn't necessarily mean a referendum on everything, but at least an effort to ask people and to genuinely listen and act on those views (as opposed to going through the motions of a statutory consultation and then ignoring what people have said).

My own view is that the first approach is killing democracy. We have already got to the stage where only about a third of voters take the trouble to vote in local elections every four years. I think this is because people now think that voting makes little difference and that their views on anything won't be listened to, whether it be wheelie bins, leisure centres, car parking charges or levels of council tax.

The fact that you are even reading this suggests that you might be more engaged than the average person, but I would be interested in knowing what you think….

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