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May 30, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Kate Follows Celia – Early Retirement

Welcome to the final column of Kate follows Celia. Final because I’m leaving the country, and it just doesn’t feel right to write about Celia when I’m not around to follow her.

My idealism of politics has, over the course of a few short years, largely disappeared. I recall revelling in the beauty of democracy. It was about citizens together voting who they wanted to represent them in government, those elected acting in the interests of the citizens, both over the short and long term, decisions being made collectively. Differences were everywhere, yet were advantageous in solving problems.

I was ignoring the truth. Politics is just a mean game on the playground, with little regard of the citizens (with the exception of election years, when things reach a new level of ridiculous). This is true for both national and local politics. I have occasionally sat in on WCC Strategy and Policy Committee meetings. They call each other names, mutter insults, openly insult ideas and people. They appeared to have no respect for each other, let alone the citizens.

I’ve discovered you can delude yourself into thinking that politics is relevant because it impacts the world in a way that nothing else can. But this doesn’t mean it warrants my time. It’s the system, they are the system, we are that same system. In fighting the system we’re only fighting ourselves.

Does writing a submission to the council about their draft annual plan make any difference? Occasionally yes, but most of the time, they’ve already made up their minds. ‘Consultation’ and ‘public discussion’ doesn’t mean anything. Neither of those terms legally oblige councillors to take the public’s voice into consideration. While theoretically you can’t enter into consultation having already made up your mind, in practice this is how it’s done. Consultation is the biggest pile of tokenism rubbish I’ve ever seen. Why spend all this money on consulting the public when they don’t take any of it into consideration? Fund our libraries, take away our recycling, provide us all with decent public transport, get us some city planning. Don’t spend money on shit like the Rugby World Cup and ridiculous toilets.

To clarify, my beef is not with Celia. Celia, long after her election, continues to do what she believes in, and that is why people voted for her. She leads the city not in the way that her predecessors did, but in a way that is progressive and real. Celia is criticised in the media, and she tackles it perfectly: with disregard and humour. She carries her head high because she earned her place as Mayor of Wellington, and she deserves it. I am proud to be represented by a leader who runs the city with such grace, passion, determination, respect, and power.
My beef is with the system, and I think Celia’s doing a truly wonderful job.

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  1. Summer says:

    Appreciation for this informtaoin is over 9000-thank you!

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