In a representative democracy, the people elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf. In New Zealand, council is the level of government closest to the people. This means that council is responsible for delivering local services and representing the views of residents. What does this mean for you as a voter?
As a voter, you have the right to choose who represents you. In Whanganui, we use a system called First Past the Post (FPP) to elect our representatives. This means that the candidates who gets the most votes wins. You may have one vote for Mayor and twelve votes for your chosen councilors. You also have the right to stand for election yourself. If you are elected, you will be responsible for making decisions on behalf of your constituents.
As a representative, you have a duty to represent the views of your constituents. You should also be accessible to your constituents and make yourself available to listen to their concerns. In addition, you should be transparent in your decision-making process and explain your reasoning behind any decisions you make.
What should you expect from your council? Your council should be responsive to your needs and concerns. They should also be transparent in their decision-making process and explain their reasoning behind any decisions they make. In addition, the members that you voted for should be able to explain to you in good faith why they voted one way or another. Remember, you gave them your vote. This means instead of you having your own say, they had it on your behalf. This is why the values and credentials of those you vote in, is so important.
What are the benefits of representative democracy?
There are many benefits of representative democracy. One benefit is that it allows people to elect officials who they believe will make decisions that are in their best interests. Another benefit is that representative democracy ensures that all voices are heard and considered when decisions are being made. Finally, representative democracy allows people to hold their representatives accountable for their actions.
Yes! If you are not happy, do not wait three years to say something, today we have multiple ways to contact counselors, so do it!