BikersRVoters – Done And Dusted For Now

Well that’s the 2010 General Election over, done and dusted for now, however with elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly and Councils planned for next year Right To Ride is now starting to plan for these elections.

While the hustle, bustle and some shocks of the election results splashed across the TV screens, Right to Ride’s Trevor Baird and Elaine Hardy headed to the Slugger o’tool – Stratagem – Election Breakfast at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

The event gave us an insight into the pundits, the experts and politicians thoughts and views of the election and it was all big views and big issues. Definitely not micro management of the micro issues outside the big issues, which is where the 30,000 registered motorcycles and their owners in Northern Ireland seem to sit.

However if we take the motorcycling community as part of civic society, where that society aims to represent and campaign for the needs of a local community – motorcycling – then our ears pricked up when the Rev Norman Hamilton (incoming Presbyterian Moderator) – yes the attending crowd was that diverse – said, “Civic society needs to start intelligent, gracious, informed public discourse so there is a basis for good public policy to be made.”

Conall McDevitt, SDLP MLA for South Belfast said, in terms of civic society affecting policy, “Civil society and broader society and people who are interested in the issues ………….need to organise…………”

As Right To Ride’s pre election press release mentioned, “Motorcycling should not be quiet but that means proper informed intelligent engagement – both ways – with our political representatives.”

So it appears we are on the right track with intelligent engagement to lobby for the basis of good public policy for motorcycling to be made

As a community who else is in a better position to inform and communicate issues that effect motorcycling than the riders, either as individuals or organised as an effective lobby armed with a knowledge of motorcycling?

With the aim to lobby for the acceptance and to have the advantages motorcycling recognized as:

An integral part of road transport, based on evidence and facts that – Economic gains from biking tourism – including motorcycle events – sporting and non sporting – has for Northern Ireland as a whole and for all to take a shared responsibility regarding Road Safety.

And to engage, to talk, to listen and to debate with – Politicians – Decision makers – Authorities – Other organisations – to work out sensible, practical and political aims and objectives for motorcycling.

One thing is definite – Don’t Expect Us To Be Quiet!

Northern Ireland MPs as elected at the General Election – 6th May 2010 – Click Here

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