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Thursday, 2 May 2013

Comments on the Centre for Cival Society linkedIn thread

Hi there,
I have been following the very interesting and exciting discussions on the LinkedIn forum "The Heart and Soul of Australia", and thought they were worth recording this blog as well, as they mirror many of my own values, perceptions, opinions and conclusions. 
I recommend that you join the gourp if you like what you see!
to which the followign comment was made by:
Laurie V VaughanDefinitely worth the effort.- The adage "we get the politicians we deserve" has been true for 2000 years.
The party system is an infinite series of compromises unless a really strong Chifley or Menzies type takes the reins.
Love or hate him Hawke took charge and got a few things done. As did Howard.! Politicians strong enough to manage the compromises. Ms Gillard is making the effort, I think she is tough! The national campaign to unseat her ,currently unrolling ,ia a classic demonstration of the manipulation of the National Press. The Herald sun's campaign is blatant. the Daily Screamer has been headlining anti labour (Read Gillard ) headlines now for weeks.
Seems the balanced journalistic approach has evaporated.
We are left to wonder why.!
Has anybody wondered why the next election has a referendum attached asking about marriage ??? and just incidentely "PLEASE VOTE YES AS WELL TO AMEND THE LEGALISATION OF A THIRD TIER OF GOVERNMENT" the real reason for the referendum!!!.
Already defeated in 2 previous referendums 75 and 86. NO NO NO!!!
How would you like a fully legal set of new laws ,taxes and charges supplemented again!!!
How many times will they try get more control than already in place. Local CEO s are already some of the highest paid local Government executives $400-600K PA.                                         
and my reply, as follows:
Hi Teresa and Laurie
your comments strike a nerve with me too. Laurie's comment that the political system is an "infinite series of compromises" is true and pragmatic and necessary, but all too often comes unstuck for two main reasons (I think!):

firstly, yes, without clear and strong leadership (which needs some sort of obvious support as well, like a party) issues can be easily misdirected, because nobody knows how the issue should be managed or resolved or negotiated away; and

secondly, issues get misdirected because even with strong leadership to defend them, without a clear and strong sense of purpose, how does a politician know what the issue’s value to the community is, or why it is important to be resolved? This sense of purpose is what I think many of our politician’s might be missing…(Teresa's "genuine persons" suggestion), eg are they representing us or a party or indeed maybe just themselves?...specially with the rise of career politicians whom have had no real experience in the real world – amazing politicians, adept at political manoeuvring but could they be out of touch with ordinary Australians...I don’t know many people where I live who earn over $150,000, let alone $100,000 or even over $75,000….

My local state and fed reps were ‘parachuted in’ as the saying goes, with various amounts of ridiculous ‘family history’ supposedly justifying their ability to understand the local region (which I don’t really care about), and yes – the local community did vote them in, so we get the government we deserve, but did the local community feel like they had a genuine choice? And who parachuted in these people in the first place? The party machines….to win power, not to represent the local community….
Ivan McKay

Monday, 29 April 2013

Update April 2013

what a busy end to 2012 and an even busier start to 2013!

7 months between blogs is a long time, even if it is only me reading them :)!

I wrapped up 2012 with the inaugural "Politics in the Pub" event in November, with over 70 people crammed into the delightful Cantina Tapas bar in Merimbula to hear the hon. Dr Mike Kelly and Dr Matthew Nott and Infigen representative duke it out over renewable energy issues for the local region. A very interesting and lively debate! Thanks to Jo Thorpe for moderating and doing her journo thing and of course to Liam O'Duibhir for organising all the tech stuff and people so that the event went smoothly and was streamed live to the net!

Following PITP work started almost immediately on the 2013 Seachange Start Up Camp Merimbula, which was bigger and better than the inaugural 2012 event! We had over 20 participants this time around, an opening ceremony hosted by Mike Kelly, a fashion show and the launch of a new online fashion store owned and managed by a local 19 year old entrepreneur, plus lots of visitors from Canberra and Sydney as well as the locals getting their innovation and entrepreneurial groove on, and of course Australia's very first start up bus, the Entrepreneuars Seachange Bus all the way from Sydney! Everyone was a winner, but the trophy went to a start up idea now called VoxVoxVox, which created a phone application platform for audio to be hosted and added for interesting places to visit!

As well as all this my twins turned 5, the NSW government turned 2 yers old, a federal election was called and in the midst of all this my wife Alicia went through cancer treatment. Luckily for us she has come out the other end as strong as ever and determined to make the best of things. All good news from the doctors too!

Only 8 months to go! phew

I am also starting to become involved in a new political movement, Centre for a Civil Society, which is a back to grass roots movement for poltical representation and engagement, as well as planning the 2nd Politics in the Pub. Plus, 2013 is the year to finish the renovations on my house! Well, at least to lock up...

Sunday, 2 September 2012

My Preferences



I have had a few people ask me what will my preferences be, and will  I be telling/asking/advising people how to vote at this election.

To which the short answer is no....

I can't honestly do this as a true independent.

The reason for me not declaring preferences isn't as obvious as it may appear. I have made up my mind about how I will personally cast preferential votes at the local election on 8 September 2012, but I don't wish to provide information about How to Vote in the classic sense.

This is for three reasons:

 There is obviously a cost issue to printing flyers and distributing them at every polling booth etc.
And whilst I don't like unnecessary costs, and it is even more abhorrent to me beucase it is such a 'use once' product. It just doesn't sit well with me.

Plus, once incurred, I would have heaps of paper work to fill in with regard to the election funding authority, whether voted in or not. So my strategy is to campaign electronically, at my own time (and therefore without financial cost).

Once printed, a How to Vote flyer must obey many rules imposed by the NSW Electoral commission, including being registered.
I think these rules are wise but technology has made them redundant - because if I distribute my information electronically, via a blog or an email with an attachment etc, then the rules wouldn't apply - obviously not the intent...A word of warning though - these rules would apply (repeat, would apply) once this info is printed, but to the person printing them.....not to me. Hence I am encouraging everyone not to print my info :)

 Being an independent candidate is difficult at the best of times, no money, no party support, noone else invovled to help me out, etc etc. Boohoo...

But if I did declare my preferences, something strange would happen - I would inevitably then be linked to those other candidates' general philosophies/histories/track records no matter how good, bad or otherwise those candidates reputations might be perceived by the voters....

The association, once made,  will inevitably stick.

Which I don't want to do.

I am quite clearly and proudly an independent - my decisions and my votes are entirely up to how I perceeve the situation - not how someone else tells me to vote (like every party representative) or 'group of like minded people'...

HOWEVER - isn't there always one?
I would encourage people to think about the following when casting their votes:

As a true independent I am not aligning with any other candidates.
Of course I will be casting my own vote with preferences, but I would encourage my supporters to simply Vote 1 Ivan McKay and then follow their own inclination based on existing issues that are important to them.
I would however encourage others to consider these principles when trying to choose their preferences:

•To promote change in our council we have to change the council - Vote 1 Ivan McKay and then place subsequent numbers (at least 2-5) against the names of new candidates;
•To encourage gender and age balance we need younger councellors and more women - Vote 1 Ivan McKay for a younger, more energetic council. Then place subsequent numbers (at least 2-5) against female candidates names to ensure that we don't have a council full of old men.

• Our council is clearly struggling with the day to day management of core council activities (legislative  and community demands) let alone planning for our future.
• Some councillors have been elected for almost a decade and they still can't seem to put aside petty differences for the greater good or have the capacity to cope with council demands.
Shouldn't we expect more from the people whom want to represent us? Vote 1 Ivan McKay to make it better!

• Isn't the purpose of being a councillor to be representative of the community, not just to be on council?
• How many existing councillors have demonstrable broad community interests? Most councillors and candidates are oriented in only one primary interest area: business, sport, agriculture/farming, the environment or disadvantaged groups....
shouldn't we expect more diversity, capabiltiy and complexity in the people seeking to represent all of us? I do - Get real, get local, vote for someone who cares about the interests of the whole community, not just those they are personally interested in. Vote 1 Ivan McKay to bring the whole community back into the council.

• Our council has a perceived history of being secretive, inconsistent and failing to recognise that due process is there to protect and represent the majority of our community, not as an inconvenience for the influential minority to overcome.
Is this really how you want your local community managed? I don't.  I want our council to be open, transparent and representative of the community, not the interests of large developers or the philosophies of national party machines. I expect more from our local councillors. Vote 1 Ivan McKay for a better council.

•We need more disciplines and experience on the council - there are too many lawyers and too many farmers. I am not a lawyer or a farmer, Vote 1 Ivan McKay then place subsequent votes (at least 2-5) against those candidates that are not farmers or lawyers.


How to Vote/Why to Vote for me at the 2012 BVSC elections!


so we are down to the nitty gritty now. Only 5 sleeps to go...

If you want the council to change, if you think, like me, that the way our community is managed should be better, then make your vote count and change the council at this election.

All but one council member is an old, retired,  white man....the other councillor is an old, white retired woman. sigh.

They certainly don't represent me, they don't seem to have a collective plan for us and most just don't understand the role of IT and the knowledge services economy that is sweeping the world...

Council can't solve fuel prices, or immigration, or education and health funding

but they can REPRESENT their whole community, they can reduce redtape to make innovation easier and encourage entrepreneurs to want to start up their business in our shire, not Moruya, let alone Batemans Bay, Canberra, Sydney or Melbourne.

They can respect and value the natural assets we have here, the very things that drew almost all of us here it the first place. And it is these same things will bring more investment and more innovation to us than anything else.

It is this forward thinking and planning which will provide an exciting future for our children, not nimbyism and the same old same old respsone to the same old problems that just wont go away.

So, if you want things to change, start by changing the council - vote 1 Ivan McKay this election!
and at least 4 others, so your vote is formal!

we get the council we deserve - we voted for them!

My speech at the MNW/MCoC Thursday 30Aug12

Hello there,

here is my 2 minute speech that I was invited to give at the the Sapphire Club in Merimbula on Thursday 30 August as part of the "Meet the Candidates" night, hosted by the Merimbula News Weekly and the Merimbula Chamber ofCommerce.

Where:                                         Sapphire Club Merimbula
Duration:                                     2 minutes max
When:                                           30 August 2012
Why:                                              Merimbula local council 2012 elections

Hello everyone,

My name is Ivan McKay and

I’m up here because I want you to put a number 1 in my box at the council election

– plus vote for at least 4 other candidates…..

So that’s the easy part over with.

The hard part of course is why should you vote for me?

I have three reasons:

I think our council should be better. But to fix things means changing the council. This is why I’m here tonight.

I chose to live here.
In fact I sold everything to move here. It is my profound commitment to the shire which makes me a good candidate for council. The very things that attracted me in the first place are the things I now feel protective about: the natural beauty, our abundant resources , the infrastructure and of course the lifestyle. I know how rare it is to find all of these things in one place and I wont take them for granted.

What I didn’t do was choose to live in a franchised blob of a town just like every other one on the map – is this what we really want? I don’t.

And last but not least, the third reason
you should vote for me is I have the skills, experience and proven track record of just getting things done.

I will be transparent and consistent in my decisions and I will represent the community as a first priority, every time.

These are serious issues that all candidates should be able to demonstrate to you if we want your vote.

And the only way to be sure that these things are important to each candidate is to look at their history, not their clever words or advertising.

And my track record speaks for itself.
Prior to moving here I was a successful engineer managing hundred million dollar projects for SBS TV and Radio, rolling out infrastructure in councils just like ours across Australia.

And since moving I have been involved in many local community activities, like setting up the Merimbula Mens Shed, being a Board Member of the Mumbulla Foundation, running an Australian first IT “Start Up Camp” in Pambula, to name just a few - as well as being a former small business owner, a devoted family man, owner/builder and full time employee of a local training company.

In summary, if you think counsellors should be capable, consistent and transparent in their decisions, if you want genuine community representation, then things need to change. Vote 1 Ivan McKay this election and make it happen.

Thank you

Response to MNW sent 29Aug due 31Aug

Dear Denise/Liz

thank you for the question/s, some good ones for the final week!

My responses to your questions are included below.
I have not yet made up my mind about preferences, but at the moment I am not inclined to be directing any, however I may change my mind (it will basically be how I think I would vote, which, Iamnot yet settled on).

Q:The extension of the Merimbula Airport runway (This is the extension not the repair)
A: I don’t see the value. We have better things to spend money on.

Q: Rebuilding Bega Town Hall (as opposed to refurbishment)
A: Heritage is worth preserving. If the Hall is of heritage value then it should be protected.

Q: Increasing the base rate to allow a lower ad valorem
A: No. This only benefits some at the expense of many with no obvious advantage to council.

Q: Staying within rate pegging
A: If council was well run, well planned and stuck to core business we should be able to stay within rate pegging. Anything else should be publicly justified and be in accordance with the plan for the shire.

Q: Extending the sewerage system to include Bemboka and Quaama
A: What have they been doing all this time?

Q: Changing the location of the Wolumla tip
A: If it’s feasible, I am in favour of it.

Q: Pambula hospital poll question - how are you voting - yes or no 

Response to BDN due 30Aug12

Dear Ben,

so I don't miss the 10am Thursday deadline again - please find below my response to your 3rd question.

I am happy with this response at the moment, but reserve the right to send an alternative closer to next Thursday - if I have a new one that is :)

BDN Q&A due 10am Thursday 30 August
Q: Which sector/s do you see as having the most potential for the Bega Valley? Which do you intend to champion if elected? Industry, commercial, health, tourism, arts and culture, and sporting groups would be some examples, but I’m sure there are many others.

The sectors that would be of most interest to me as a councillor would be those that demonstrate and allow for a community to thrive and be healthy, which is more than just the basics like employment. Some are probably more important than others in predicting whether our community will thrive or merely survive in the future.  There are many examples of community collapse because of an over-reliance on just one sector or industry, or an inability to ‘see the writing on the wall’. I don’t want to live in that sort of community and I doubt anyone else does – the trick seems to be not having our eggs all in one basket, and having a broad community plan to judge opportunities against.  If elected I would champion the establishment of a community plan which allows the most flexibility and integration lifestyle and development to allow all sectors to flourish.