There's no transparency! We need transparency! Transparency is important! This is what you hear over and over during ALL elections - not just the recent 2011 one.
It would appear that things are hidden, things are murky at best, and there must be a lot of bad stuff going on all the time. We have backroom deals, smoke and mirrors, hidden agendas, ...
I think things are pretty transparent (if not 100%). Meetings are public, there's a public portion, and the meeting minutes are public. Records are public and City Hall is pretty open and you can talk to almost anyone there, including the Mayor, almost anytime. There's an active media watching us, more so now with the advent of online journalism and the whole social media scrutiny. There are auditors and agencies that check all of our financial dealings.
So I was having a problem understanding the public concern with transparency - now and in the past. Then it occurred to me: it's not that the government is hiding from us - we, the people, can't be bothered to pay attention to what's going on in front of our own noses. We don't read, we barely glance at the newspaper, we don't go to public meetings, we don't speak up, and we don't question.
People shy away from politics, more so with the passing of time. We don't understand politics, we aren't taught history or civics well in school these days, we don't have time, we need to keep working hard to pay our bills. Let's face it, it's extremely hard to find the time to be involved, to be concerned, to be aware of what's going on.
When confronted with our lack of knowledge, do we own up to it? Not really. We just mutter and say, politics, it's a dirty game and they are sneaky bastards - no transparency - gosh darn it.
Through our new page, Clearly Derby, we are hoping to bring a little relief to our citizens. We are hoping to make you more concerned. We want to involve you. We intend to bring politics to you, there on your laptop, there at your kitchen table, there on your sofa while you wind down after a hard day at work. We will attempt to make government a little more understandable, more transparent, more clear. You are already liking social media - so we want to practice social politics and see how that works for you.