When we began our #InvestIn campaign, we were not anticipating a snap election to overtake us! If we were true PR animals this would be a golden opportunity for us: right when we want our message heard, the people in power are at least pretending to be willing to listen. However, in the wake of Brexit, and the endless leadership tussles in every political party, our nation seems to be well and truly fed up with politics.
Which has got us wondering; is politics something we need to #InvestIn?
Some might say that voting is not just democratic right but a democratic obligation.This kind of lecturing can ring hollow, however, when it feels like the political elite is far removed from normal life. Even if we are suddenly being asked to vote every five minutes (when we were promised every five years) each of our votes is just one of millions. Plus the media loves to tell us elections are decided in a handful of swing seats. So what is the point? And can we blame those who bristle when told it’s “their duty” to do something that appears to make no real difference?
But what if we saw politics as a worthwhile, even positive investment?
Could there be a way to make politics as lifetime activity open to all – and beneficial for all? When Aristotle famously describes humans as “political animals”, he does not mean, of course, that we are all career politicians with a knack for spin and back-stabbing. Rather, he means that it is in our nature to come together to live in complex societies. We agree with Aristotle that to truly prosper, we need to live up to our potential as ‘political animals’ because what this really means is taking an active role in how our society is run. Happy City believes that the social connections that we all make in life are a vital ingredient for our shared prosperity. We also believe that, of all social connections that we make, the most rewarding are those that help to bring about improvements to the society we live in. This is what politics should be all about!
So however we intend to vote, we must vote!
And that is just the start, not the end of the political process. Our politicians are there to serve us – whether we voted for them or not. Real investment in politics means we take every opportunity to remind these ‘elites’ that their job is to deliver the conditions necessary for our prosperity. Most importantly let’s all be clear on what investment we want to see to bring real prosperity across our society for all our futures, and let’s work toward it all the time – not just at election time. By doing this we might hope to be true to our nature as political animals.
Imogen Smith – Happy City Contributor