Saturday, 30 April 2011
Return of the revenge of the Thurrock local election running commentary
With less than a week to go until Election Day, the Grays Riverside candidates, apart from Labour, have been conspicuous by their absence.
I was hoping for some sparkling debate on my doorstep with people who were enthusiastically trying to get my vote; instead I have been given even less incentive to use my vote at all. I haven’t even received any campaign literature from any of them either.
If a person decides that they wish to represent the residents in their ward, surely they should be prepared to meet them? They should make the effort to show that they care about their constituency and the people in it, not just turn up at the Polling Station on the day of the election with a self-satisfied grin on their face and hoping that a quick handshake will get the people to vote for them.
If only the other candidates would make an effort then more people might make the effort to go out and vote rather than complaining about being in a safe seat for one party or another; in my case, a safe Labour seat.
We live in a democracy, apparently, but our representatives, both local and national, seem to be elected on a smaller proportion of the electorate each election. This is wrong. People fought and died for our right to have free democratic elections and to throw that sacrifice back in their faces by not voting is the highest insult. That said, how can the electorate truly be inspired to vote when the people who wish to represent them refuse to make the effort to show they care about the position they wish to fill? At the moment, the only impression the prospective candidates are giving is one of complete indifference and that only feeds into the view many people hold of politicians as people who are only in politics to feather their own nests with allowances and expenses.
Someone has to change the system to make candidates for public office truly work for their position and, if they fail to do so, the system must have procedures in place to remove them from the electoral process in favour of someone who will.