To entertain us while we endure the incredibly erratic and wet spring weather we have the spectacle of the elections with a seemingly endless array of carrots that the various political parties are offering.
A question for you. Do you vote according to which party is most beneficial to you and your family or do you vote for, or at least consider, voting according to which party is going to be most beneficial to communities?
The assumption is, and perhaps it is true, that people generally vote according to how it will benefit them. Many years ago a friend asked what determines who I vote for and I said according to which party I believe best supports communities. She had never considered this as a factor in voting. Don’t get me wrong, I do this for selfish reasons, I figure the stronger the community is, the better it is for me and my family. We all benefit from strong communities – it’s safer, we’re more likely to know our neighbours, which is very handy in times of a natural disaster or when you need a cup of sugar (or should that be flour, given sugar is now the devil incarnate).
The policies of political parties are likely to have a big impact on your clients and the services you provide. I’m guessing that many people using your services, for a range of reasons, perhaps don’t vote. Although, it was heartening to see the active engagement from people with disabilities and carers at a WBOP Disability Support network meeting in response to a presentation from Hon Nicky Wagner about changes to the disability services system.
If you haven’t already I really encourage you and your clients to visit SociaLink’s website www.socialink.org.nz to find out the various policies the parties have on a range of issues including health, education housing and poverty to help inform how you and your clients vote. Your vote really does count, the outcomes of the election will impact on the lives of your clients, your family and your work.
Ka kite ano