What would make you interested in an election? Many people are understandably turned off by negative politics, or even politics in their own right, by parties, candidates, campaigning, by right, left or centre, by “issues”, debates …

Would it make a difference if an election actually affected you? Personally? Directly? But thinking about candidates and parties often leads to the same conclusion, that none of it really makes a difference overall because, in general, it’s always more of the same.

And yet …

David Cameron talked in the UK’s last election of the Big Society. I think it’s useful to turn that on its head and think about the Small Society. What happens in our immediate environment is what matters to most of us, whether we’re interested in politics or not! And when we live abroad, away from our own society and culture, what happens in our immediate environment matters all the more because we’re out of our comfort zone, without our normal support networks, and where so much is confusing or unclear.

So, thinking in terms of the Small Society here in Tenerife, there are local elections coming up next month. As “foreigners” here, we only have a vote at local level, but really, that’s what matters most of all to most of us anyway – issues like particular roads, or schools, or provision for when we’re vulnerable or getting older, or what priorities our own specific area should really have. And in the Small Society, we have a part to play – because we are ourselves a part of it!

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll make a few information posts highlighting what local authorities do and can achieve, and how they form part of the greater picture of the country in which we’ve all chosen to live. Regardless of “politics”, let Cameron keep his Big Society. We are the Small Society, and we can make a difference.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. I think this is a great idea Janet and totally agree with your thoughts on it. It is definitely the thing that should concern us expats. We have no say in how our chosen country will be run but we can make a difference in our own life’s here in Tenerife. Also I feel , in the local elections, it is not so much about party politics and the party line so much as the actual people in office and how they see the area and facilities. I look forward to your further posts.

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