You may have noticed that I’ve added to the footer of the site a ‘Back Jack 2010′ button. This is in support of Jack Yan for Mayor of Wellington and I thought I’d write something here on the blog to explain why I back his candidacy and why I think it’s important.
This October the people of Wellington, New Zealand, will vote for their new mayor. The election is just another example of a wider trend that I find encouraging in democracy of the race being thrown open by candidates who come from outside of the Political Establishment. In this case the candidate that has emerged from the people is Jack Yan.
It has became obvious over recent years that at all levels of politics that the political establishment has became more and more divorced from the reality of life, they can’t adequately address the problems faced because they’re no more real to them than theories on a piece of paper. What is needed are people who understand how things work in the real world, people who have experience in the real world and people who have been successful at getting results in the real world.
It seems to me that in all elections the candidates who are from the establishment approach the electorate with arrogance; they don’t engage because they don’t feel they need too. They are the politicians, they represent the big parties and they feel that is enough. Talk about the things that matters? No need for that, they feel that name recognition alone is enough to carry the vote. Jack Yan, on the other hand, has approached questions such as job creation and stimulating the economy. Here his knowledge of technology from business is showing as he promotes free-wifi in the city to promote business use and a broader technology platform to provide the economic stimulus for job creation. This is exactly the type of thinking that economies, not just in Wellington but around the world, could really benefit from. The only way to take things forward and grow the economy is to stimulate it, to make it an environment where businesses can flourish and new employment opportunities will be created. So much thinking in the post-recession economy seems to be negative and punitive towards banks and businesses but that is not going to help growth.
Another thing that Jack Yan has made central to his campaign is openness and easy access. Jack sees the city as being made up of all of it’s populace and has started a website called yourwellington.org to allow everyone a chance to contribute to the debate on issues that affect the city. It’s important, in a true democracy, for the electorate to be engaged in the process throughout the years not just at election time. Your Wellington is a way for people to do just that. In the Roman Republic the people had a voice all year round, it’s time our democracies got back to a system where the politicians represent – and indeed, answer to – their electors.
If you’re not a Kiwi you may perhaps be wondering why the election in Wellington is relevant to you. Whatever and wherever the election it’s important to remember that every time someone who cares and who has policies that benefit the people wins, even if not where you live, it is one more voice for change and one less position held by an establishment that serves only itself.
You can visit Jack’s Campaign website by clicking here.