I’ve been a little quiet over the last week or so. The reason? I grew tired with the howls of protest and triumph from both sides of the US election debate. Rationality rapidly left the building as Kerry conceded. Emotions and the baser human instincts took over in all too many debates. The signal to noise ratio shifted too far towards noise.

It was time to tune out for a while because, in the end, it was merely the sound of a lot of people who had suddenly become politically active through the War in Iraq discovering that, as Winston Churchill said 60 years ago:

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others

Thankfully, a little more rationality is starting to return to the debate. People are starting to realise the fundamental truths of democracy, including the fact that the biggest change you can make is in you local area. Politicians love to make us believe that the only time we have any influence is during an election. Nonsense. We can go on shaping the opinions and beliefs of those around us through debate constantly, making an election little more than a quick check of the prevailing orthodoxy.

Do you know who your local government representative is? Do you know who your national government representative is? If not, you’re playing into the politicians’ hands. They’ve allowed you to believe that their party games at a national level is all that matters. They’re wrong. Your neighbourhood matters. Change that, and you’re on the first step towards changing national politics.