Saturday, May 27, 2006

Old mince rolling in from the sea.

This is probably going to be my most political blog entry yet. I don’t expect everyone to agree with it, but I’m trying to be at least a bit balanced here by not mentioning too many names. If you want you can figure it all out very easily though. If you don’t want to read this political blog entry then do skip down because I just posted a little rant which you might find amusing and certainly is more representative of the kind of stuff I normally post on here. You might want to clock the misheard lyric here if you can't work out the misheard lyric on the previous blog entry.

Still here? Ok, onward…

Local council elections came around and there were a lot more leaflets from one candidate than others. Some didn’t put any round at all, in fact when I went to vote there were at least two people on the paper whom I did not recognize. Anyway, this leaflet thing had happened before on the previous election and by a strange coincidence the person who put around the most junk mail won.

So I made a phone call to the council offices involved with postal voting and from there was forwarded to the returning officer. I asked how this electioneering element worked and found out the following (I’m sharing in case you didn’t know either): each candidate is allowed to spend up to £500 on electioneering. It has to come from their own money and is has to be accounted for afterwards. So, fair point, this one candidate obviously put more money into a leaflet campaign.

But then came the letter from the local MP (who is of the same party affiliation of the much-leafleting council election candidate) urging all and sundry to vote for their the candidate of their party. Well, apparently this was actually encouragement to vote in general and would have been paid for from the party coffers. Devious but allowed.

Then comes the problem: the candidate for a party I hate, who stand up for most of the things I oppose, appears to be fielding a reasonable candidate. The other candidates either haven’t leafleted or it hasn’t had an effect on me (apart from one, simply because of the terrible spelling and use of grammar in the propaganda). So when someone from the troubling candidate turned up at the door my only question/point was “I like this guy on so many levels but to what extent will he have to tow the party line because I really don’t agree with the party at all.” Of course, being politics, there wasn’t really a straight answer and I was left just as stuck.

This candidate with the leaflets then won that election – probably because of the leaflets again. All over the local press the party were claiming it as another victory for themselves, when in actuality the party may well have been the one thing putting people off voting for the candidate. It certainly was the one thing putting me off voting for him. Local councillors shouldn’t be party political to the same extent as MPs. Having a council mostly made up of one party and a Government with another is going to cause the loss of so much potential good work (coming from either party) because of political to-ing and fro-ing. If Party Y believes one thing then it’s expected that Party X would oppose it. Having said all that, I've yet to see the new council actually make some kind of gesture so who knows what will happen.

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