Take an interest, for we will all be affected

Olivier Lequeux makes a plea for people to be interested in local politics and in standing in this year's local body elections.

Gordon Parry's Memory Lane (ODT 16.7.13) reads beautifully. One has to agree: ''Changing times bring changing expectations''. And, yes, the local body elections are upon us.

From cycle lanes to recycling, town and gown, infrastructure - Dunedin's residents might decide to change the order of importance of their desires in life or even cause to drop some of these values to take new ones.

When we speak of politics, we are concerned with the activity by which decisions are made about who holds power in society.

John Rosanowski (Action Publications, Christchurch 1975) pointed out the Kalahari bushmen's politics is a fairly simple matter: well-established customs that reflect the values of the group. For the Bushmen, the chief purpose in life is to survive in the desert they inhabit.

Social change is unlikely as long as the basic purposes and the technology stay the same.

In Dunedin, most citizens do not care much about politics, let alone local politics. As long as they feel their basic needs for food, housing and clothing are fulfilled, they are not keen to devote much time to politics. The chances to increase their wealth, or to enjoy leisure, seem more rewarding.

Nonetheless, whether we take much interest or not, we will all be affected by changes made by political enthusiasts who achieve power. Gordon Parry is inspirational, and it is our duty to encourage people with purpose to stand in the local body elections for our social betterment.

- Olivier Lequeux is a Dunedin mayoral candidate.

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