A low by-election turnout on St Helena has been blamed by island writer John Turner on government failure to be open and transparent. He says voters have been left disaffected.
“Government takes decisions. Where it does consult on them it rarely offers any meaningful choices for those consulted,” he says in his Random Thoughts From Offshore blog.
“At a constituency meeting in Blue Hill a few months ago, our cat turned up and thereby raised the net attendance by 25%.
“If St Helena Government were to embrace openness and transparency it would help people to feel that they are part of the process of making government decisions, and have a real power to influence them. Transparency would involve having meaningful dialogue before decisions are taken.”
Governor Mark Capes was jeered at recent meeting in Sandy Bay when officials told the the audience what medical arrangements would be in place – on the eve of their local clinic being closed.
Executive Councillors had been told the plans nearly two weeks earlier, but they were not made public at that point.
John has set up a Facebook page to press for more transparency in government.