Sunday, August 22, 2010

Busted Politics? Politics really is local...

The phrase "All politics is local" is attributed to the renowned US Democrat politician Tip O'Neill.

It expresses the not unusual notion that successful politicians must be attuned to the local issues of their constituents. However they need the good desire, or rat cunning, to know the priority the electors place on the local issues at the time of voting.

I see the term as a call for its then times; where active politicians listened to the mood and needs of a passive electorate.

Today "all politics is local" should be a clarion call at this passivity for us to activate. Not into agenda driven activism; rather into active service couched in truth within our public square through engaged local public groups.

The challenge is to find a structure to act within.  The political parties are anathema, so what do we do? Can they be enlivened?  

It is time for some lateral thinking, or perhaps just good old fashioned exercising of our will, talents and imagination to see what might rise to place the local public interest as the paramount focus of political service.


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