AT the risk of being accused of being an apologist for our local state member, I believe some of the criticism levelled at Daryl Maguire has gone way over the top and isn’t truly reflective of what a local member does.
Nanjing Night Net

The whole issue erupted earlier this week when we ran a story based on several rather unflattering comments about Mr Maguire, one rather witty scribe labelling him as “Daryl Do-Little”.

Mr Maguire has chosen not to respond to these comments – probably a smart thing to do in many ways.

Going beyond that, he provided us with a long list of his “achievements” both in opposition and in government – just to prove he is a lot more than a part-time representative.

Well, that list, it could be argued, has some validity but it could also be argued, Mr Maguire is claiming things that were started by the previous government or are still to be funded, never mind completed.

That aside, I think many people have very little understanding of what our politicians actually do.

First and foremost, it is we the voters who elected Mr Maguire and we the voters who are happy to accept a system where party politics dominates.

It seems we are satisfied with having essentially two main political movements – the Labor party and the conservatives (coalition).

Every time we have the opportunity to vote for change, we fall back to type and essentially go with what we know.

And with the parliament dominated by party politics, we must expect the person we put there to adhere to the policies and decisions of that party – otherwise he or she becomes an independent which, as I said, is something we have refused to vote for.

So when it comes to Mr Maguire’s decisions being influenced by the party machine guess what – that’s what we voted for.

But there’s more to a local member than the hospital, a bridge and the public service jobs – albeit they are very important things.

Few get to see just what a local member – or for that matter any politician – does behind the scenes.

Sure they are there for the photo opportunities, but you don’t have to spend too much time to see what other things they do to help individuals and groups – actions which largely go unnoticed because they tend not to grab the headlines.

Unlike the general public, we in the media get to see a whole lot more of the politicians inaction.

Many work ridiculously long hours and are always on call – it doesn’t matter whether they are in the parliament or in the supermarket, they are always the local member.

This 24/7 commitment is one few people would take on and while their remuneration may appear generous, when you factor in the hours they work, it’s a task few would take on.

Then there’s the stuff we never hear about.

It might be something as simple as helping someone get into housing, resolving an issue with the Roads and Maritime Services, or taking up the fight on a local issues for particular interest groups.

You won’t read about many of these things on the front page of the DA, but they are the types of things our local politicians are doing all the time.

I doubt any of these people have joined parliament to get a pat on the back – and most are accepting of the criticism which is rightly levelled in their direction – that’s why we have the best democracy in the world.

But I reckon it’s a case of “walk a mile in my shoes” before labelling someone as a “do-little” individual – the reality, as is quite often the case, may be quite different to the perception.

Daryl Maguire

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