We are being told that tomorrow is the last possible day for mailing voting forms to ensure your votes are counted. I have heard that since the mail sorting is now done in Dunedin it may take longer for a letter to be delivered, lets hope there are no delays.

The talk around the country has been around the general apathy around local body politics. Some say it's because people are happy with their civic governance and while there may be truth in that, I think it's because many people just don't know who they're voting for. It was interesting to read the responses to my survey, however while this was a useful guide, it is what the candidates do once elected that really counts and sometimes those that make the most noise don't always live up to their own hype.

I find it useful to read a range of political journalists who report on the performance of our national politicians. These journalists spend some time observing the debating chamber and following the progress of select committees etc. This gives me an insight on what is happening in parliament and how individuals perform. I know that if different journalists are impressed with the same politician's performance, that politician must be doing something right. If I'm really keen I can look at Hansard's transcripts online and see for myself who the performers are and who are always left with the "patsy" questions. This does not really happen with local body politics. Unless we can be bothered attending public sessions we must rely on local journalists who tend to concentrate on personalities rather than issues.

It would be good to have a website that one could visit with regular updates on council business and commenting on the performance of our councillors. Weekly newspaper columns with lively insights and overviews would also help. Who are Invercargill's elder statesmen and women, our enthusiastic young guns and our dead wood (who collect their pay, don't read background material and sleep through meetings)?

I would be interested in any ideas or comments.



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