April 02, 2011

TN Elections 2011: Meet the Candidates

You organise a New Year party in your apartment complex.
You do your two-bit for a Go Green campaign in your office. You join the walk on the Marina for your Rotary Club's anti-obesity drive.
How about doing your two-bit during this election?
Look around you and you will find an opportunity you should not miss.
There is positive-ness in the air.
Small groups of people are coming together to host face-to-face meetings with the candidates who are seeking your votes and promising you a few good things, a few hollow things and a few tall things.
These people, who live in your neighbourhood are creating a platform. A space where candidates and voters can meet in a less sticky atmosphere. Away from the heat of a campaign.
These are the platforms where you and I can engage with the men and women who want to be our reps.
You can listen to what they have to say and make decisions, collaborate, persuade and challenge.
All this can be done in a civil manner.
You can even help make them raise issues and adopt those which your community feels are important.
The campaign slogans have already become stale. Scams, dynastic rule, price rise, goondagiri. . .yes these are issues at one level. But candidates hardly talk about constituency-level issues.
Traffic management. Environment degradation. Plans for kuppams and slums. Budgets for local civic projects. Law and order.
This is where you come in. You and your community will know these better than the candidates. Raise them. Push them. Or try to understand them.
Hopefully, these meetings will not end with the campaigns. They must be regular and make the new MLA accountable.
That process starts now.

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