Congratulations to Nik Butler – real local politics?
Posted by markharrison on May 12, 2007
I called my friend Nik Butler last night – to congratulate him on his election to his local parish council.
Our own council results last week showed a massive 65% majority for the “can’t be bothered to turn up and vote” party, which I understand isn’t unusual. I regularly read that people of my generation have little interest in politics.
So as well as congratulating Nik, I asked him what on earth possessed him to stand. He ran through what had happened – the Parish council asked for people from the local community to come forward and get involved – the deal is that you don’t stand on behalf of a particular party for Parish councils, but as an individual representative of the local community.
So he phoned them up, asked some questions, went along to an open meeting for people who’d expressed an interest, and decided to go for it. He then called up people he knew in the area, and lots of them voted for him.
Now, those of you who know Nik will realise that he’s an OpenSource evangelist of no small ability – but what I found really interesting on the phone last night was that he didn’t say that he wanted to push that in local government. Instead, he said that he wanted to find out more about the use of IT in local government, and look at whether OpenSource could help in that environment.
Almost makes me wish I lived the other side of the A264 so I could vote for him myself!
(Oh – and he also introduced me to Twitter, but more about that another day).