A mate of mine is a mad punter. He reckons he has the Council elections all worked out. He believes it all comes down to form.
As he says, judging the form of the various runners in a race is important to betting successfully.
Using a similar approach to judging racing form, he says, can help us to decide our vote.
He suggests considering three key factors, whether for horses or candidates.
1. Previous starts - Has the horse raced previously? This may or may not be an advantage. Can it cope in the rough and tumble of the race? Some runners are lightweight sprinters, who might struggle over a longer, or heavier, track.
For candidates, have they been actively involved in the community? Have they taken a leadership role in community or sporting groups or volunteer activities? Have they been engaged in issues in the local area?
2. Previous performance - Has the horse won before? How did it perform the last time it ran? Did it live up to expectations or did it fall at the first turn? Some runners have not won before. They are known as "maidens". This does not mean they are not worth backing, but you need to know how they have gone previously.
Have candidates served on Council before? If so, how did they go? If not, what makes you think they could do it successfully? Have they taken a leadership role in addressing issues of concern to the community? Ask what they have done, not just what they are going to do.
3. Performance in the wet - How good is the horse in different weather or track conditions? Those proven over a longer distance, or more difficult weather and terrain, may perform better.
How do candidates work with others? Do they always want their own way, or can they collaborate and work with people with whom they disagree? Do they have the wellbeing of the community at heart, or do they have ulterior motives?
There are 32 candidates seeking election to the Armidale Regional Council, all with different form.
Remember, you will have the winners as councillors for three years - so give your vote your best consideration.
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