Port Macquarie-Hastings deputy mayor says don't give our politicians an easy ride

Deputy mayor Lisa Intemann

Deputy mayor Lisa Intemann

This week at Wauchope Community Arts Hall I attended a community dinner with Greens politician Mehreen Faruqi.

Mehreen has a strong relationship with our area, having worked as an engineer for Port Macquarie-Hastings Council from 2001 to 2006.

It was during that time of course that we first met and had many discussions about local council issues, and I welcomed the chance to reacquaint with her.

Mehreen has that wonderful mix of factual strength and emotional sensitivity, and was a great asset to council during her employment.

Having since gone on to enter politics and becoming a member of the NSW Upper House and soon to take a place in the Federal Senate, it was great to re-connect, even if briefly.

The room was filled with people of all political persuasions, I’m guessing, but from discussions, all were interested in the idea of progress and not shying from the real challenges.

Having never been a member of a political party, I’m not rusted on to any and can certainly criticise the lot of them.

But the Greens are certainly not backward in driving forward with progressive ideas – think of marriage equality, the banking commission, and political donations – all initially driven by the Greens and only taken up by the majors once you, the people, started promoting the progressive cause.

Discussions around the room turned to the problems in politics generally, and especially why it seems that so many who rise to power show ugly personality traits – most simply narcissism – which prominently involve lying and using others for ugly ends, with little in the way of empathy for the plight of others.

I came away from the dinner thinking deeply about the problems and possible solutions. There seems no easy answer except a bit more personal engagement with politics, actually questioning party politics, and not giving them an easy go of it.

These are Cr Intemann’s opinions and not necessarily those of council.