I got involved in local politics…and I liked it…

by mamagrace71 on September 4, 2012

The excitement and buzz from today’s special morning tea event has extended itself into the glorious sun rays of the early afternoon.

It’s truly amazing what experiences we come across through blogging.

A little while ago, after having a casual chat about my blog and handing over a business card, an acquaintance (who I met through my running group last year) told me that she was planning to run for local council.  She asked if I would be interested in helping her with the new media/marketing strategy side of her month long campaign.

Um, sure…why not ?

And while it’s all freelance and under voluntary basis, there have been a helluva lotta learnings.

Politics isn’t for everyone.  Least of all me.  First of all, we’ve only lived in our neighbourhood for 3 years.  I didn’t know who was my mayor (let alone care) and as far as involvement with my council?  Pfft.

I grumble at the unforgiving rules of the library that charged me a small fortune for overdue and subsequently, lost children’s books.

60 bucks for Maisy Mouse ?!!  Seriously ??!

I get peeved off at the lack of parking facilities near our playgrounds as they’ve all been taken over by huge tourist buses offloading their over-eager (and overstaying) tourists.

Hey, I’m the resident…why don’t I get first dibs???

You know just little stuff.  But ants-crawling-under-the-skin annoying.

In helping raise awareness of her independent party’s blog, Twitter and Facebook presence, I’ve grown to understand a whole range of issues that my friend’s passionately fight for, like the protection of local historical sites and better commuting and transport facilities.

She also wrote a powerful opinion piece in the SMH about the lack of representation and respect for women in local politics.  (Well, seeing how our own Ms Prime Minister is treated, let’s agree it’s at federal level too).

The more I see, the more I’m inspired.

It’s been fascinating to not partake in the actual content creation, yet to be directly involved in how it’s disbursed throughout the immediate community.

Surprisingly, it seems that local politics does have the potential for your voice to be heard.

Okay, now that’s cool.

There is, however, one final confession.  Having being asked to participate in something that’s (locally) extremely important has been a huge stroke to the ego (ahems).

It’s nice to have been given the trust; that my opinions and qualifications count in something as vital as someone’s representation in the public life.

She’s even introduced me to her peers and potential voters as the party’s Social Media Manager.

Hey, that’s even cooler.

At morning tea, one of the attendees came up and said, (insert pompous, posh voice) “Aren’t you her ‘web-site’ lady?”

Well, yes. Yes, I am.

Elections are on this Saturday and I know my friend’s tenacity will make sure she fights to the very end.   As part of her campaigning team, I’m earnestly hoping voters will see that she’s the right person for the job.

And this is why I love blogging; the serendipity that can lead to a rare, exciting opportunity that you would have otherwise, never stumbled upon.

What unexpected adventures has blogging taken you on?

Joining Jess for IBOT


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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

MsMandie September 4, 2012 at 7:47 am

Wow! Nice work, Grace. I’ve always been inclined to label myself less than interested in local politics, but the older I get the more I find myself taking an interest.
Now you can add “web-site lady” to your resume, too!!
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Yes, it must be a sign of old(er) age, Mandie :)
This is what happens when you have kids and overdue library fines to pay ;)


Rhianna September 4, 2012 at 8:00 am

Well done you that all sounds very exciting. I had a friend run for local council earlier this year, all I got to do was letterbox drops and hand out how to vote cards on the day.
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Thanks, lovely! It’s been an interesting ride, to say the least!
Did your friend get in ? Hope so!


Rhianna September 7, 2012 at 2:49 am

She sure did which is great because she is very passionate about it all
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carmen September 4, 2012 at 8:22 am

Wow Grace! What an awesome addition to your resume! Puff out your chest and be proud girl! I sure am. ;) xxx
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Puffed chest, just for you, C :)
“Web-site lady” is going to look mighty fine on that ol’ resume ;) x


Kelly @ HT and T September 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

Very cool Grace! That’s a pretty good ego stroke. Blogging has taken me on no adventures but I’ve only been at it 3 months so I can’t expect too much I guess.
I’ve always wanted to run for council but just don’t have the time. There’s also that part of me that is afraid of not winning the popularity contest!
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I think you’re doing amazing for only been at it for 3 months, Kelly!
I reckon you’d be a feisty candidate! Don’t worry about the popularity stakes, you’d win that hands down :) x


Yvette @ DTlilsquirts September 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

ooOo! My dad made us become Australian Citizens so he could run for local council.. he didn’t end up winning..

I have complained to my council a numerous times. about parks and what nots.. never hearing any reply.. considering we have the smallest council in WA.. literately you would have thought they would enjoy talking to their voters/neighbours!!!

You have been visited by a member of #teamIBOT
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Yeah, I think it’s the same story with most councils…just so complacent and stuck in their ways. And let’s face it…they’re bureaucrats!
Shame that you’re dad didn’t get in :(


Dr Bron September 4, 2012 at 10:33 am

I was going to run for local council, but I don’t think they’re ready for me. Yet. :)
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

OMG! I can just imagine you running! Watch out, world!!! :D


Prue @Modern Nomads With Kids September 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

Go Grace! The thing that used to really get to me was the wicked camper vans parking in our playground car park. They would fill up and stay all day and night. Annoying but hopefully spending some money within the local community.
Blogging has taken me on a new found journey of appreciation. An appreciation of other mum’s and dad’s. I think that I was stuck in my own little world before.
Prue x


mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Oh, aren’t those wicked camper vans annoying??!
I was stuck in my own little world before blogging too. Love all the ideas and opinions that I find through blogging :) x


Daisy September 4, 2012 at 11:19 am

Haha, I just commented somewhere else that I find any kind of election day exciting mostly for the cake stall! I really don’t understand the local politics around here, except that the same guy has been doing the same job for as long as I’ve lived here, and he was instrumental in putting the first mothers room this town has seen in the town hall. So he gets my vote for his trouble!

I love that you’ve found a new avenue to really explore all the possibilities social media provides! Oh are a clever lady and deserve to be tauted as such!
Daisy recently posted..Why I’m not blogging todayMy Profile


mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Oh, your guy sounds like he’s a rare one – someone that actually does something!
Yes, I’m glad I’ve stumbled on this. It has made my days that tad more interesting (not that toddler tantrums and poosplosions are boring or anything ;))


jess September 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Wow what a great opportunity for you Grace!
I think most people in Australia fail to see how our elected MP’s have to represent their people. If we don’t say what we want, they can’t represent us, so we neglect the power we have.
It’s just the sad truth from an apathetic society.

Hope she gets in!
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm

That is sooooo true, Jess! I can’t believe how people complain about compulsory voting. In Indonesia, you got shot for fighting for what you believed in!
We don’t realise how good we actually have it, and can have it.


Tat September 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Oh, next thing I know you’ll be running for the council yourself! And I’ll be telling people about you ;) Mind you, I can’t vote for you, because I’m not an Australian citizen…
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Oh, no way! Can you imagine me running in the area that I’m in??! It would totally freak everybody out! Wait…on second thoughts :)


Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right September 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm

That’s great Grace. I’m glad it’s been a positive experience for you. I like local politics- it does feel like it matters and you can be directly involved. And the theme of women in politics is part of my post today too :)
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Loved your post today, Rach!
My stance is still the same when it comes to that twerp, Mr Alan Jones :)


Mum of Adult Kids September 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Nice one Grace! That sounds like great experience, even if it is related to politics. The topic of my post today is the upcoming council election… I’m only going for the cakes! :-)
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Cakes are good! My friend’s morning tea had lots of cakes. Another big incentive for me to get involved :)


Lisa September 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm

It is always good enjoy being involved with something important. I like politics- but not enough that I could handle getting involved in it.

Hope your friend wins the election.
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I hope she gets in too, Lisa :)


Rachel from Redcliffe Style September 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Excellent!! Good on you. Rachelxx

#teamIBOT was here x
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Thanks, Rach :)


Catherine Rodie Blagg @CoTaaB September 4, 2012 at 7:10 pm

That is very cool Grace. Very cool.

PS – was that photo taken at Dunbar house?
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Why yes, C. Yes it is :)


Mumabulous September 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Thats fantastic. What a wonderful experience and one that will look impressive on your CV (but I understand that wasn’t your main motivation). I would completely love to get involved in something like that myself.
All the best of luck for the weekend.
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Thank you! I think she’s got a really got shot at it. Can’t wait to see how it all unfolds on Saturday :)


Lee September 4, 2012 at 9:28 pm

That is awesome Grace. Good on you for getting involved and what great experience! I love the learning involved in being thrust into a new environment. It sounds like you are going to thrive on it! xx
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mamagrace71 September 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Oh, Lee. I’m forever going for the unfamiliar territory…but hey, what’s life without delving into the unknown :) xxx


Annaleis Topham September 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Sounds like a great experience. I like politics so would find it fascinating but how to keep my own opinions out of the process would be hard.
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Nami September 5, 2012 at 12:52 am

Hoorah – good for your in getting involved. Don’t you just love making a difference, no matter how small it may seem? Hope your friend wins, website-lady.
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Bridget September 5, 2012 at 1:02 am

How exciting!! Getting involved in local politics is they only way to really change things – at least things that matter on a personal level. Good for you for doing it. I hope she wins!
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housewifeinheels September 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

You are such a super woman! I don’t know how you fit it in. Twins is enough (and I can say that with some authority, because I am a twin)…. Seriously I am in awe… Maybe you should run for mayor or parliament yourself :)
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Deb @ Bright and Precious September 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

Good on you, Grace! Blogging can indeed take you to unexpected places! And you my dear, will go VERY far. xx
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