cant be bovvered

tags: , , , ,

4 pony-tails(superciliousness warning)

I’m one of the minority that voted in the Police commissioner elections. The Guardian reports the elections as having the worst turnout ever. It’s hardly surprising. Prior to normal local elections candidates will canvas voters, promote their positions  and encourage people to engage with the system.

In advance of this election I received an election card through the post. It didn’t contain any information about how to find out more about the candidates. What? I have to actually do my own research?!

Just providing the right type of information isn’t enough. A capitalistic society sells ideas, products, to its consumers. The candidates were not sold to the voters. This is totally counter to the expectations of the electorate.  How could anyone expect this system to work within a developed capitalist system? It’s hardly surprising there was such a low turn-out. It shouldn’t be news.

I’m very grateful for my ability, right, to vote. I will show my appreciation for this right by using it wisely. I did my research and found a succinct central information source that pointed to candidates own web pages, twitter feeds and provided a summary personal statement for each candidate. Really easy to find local candidates by entering my post-code. Excellent service. Research was easy and left me feeling adequately equipped to make an informed decision.

The low election turnout suggests that my belief in my social responsibility (to put thought and effort into exercising my vote) is not a common belief.


7 bits of lovely banter on “cant be bovvered”

  1. Pete writes:

    I think the majority of people did not want a Police Commissioner. The whole idea was foisted on to us in an apparent attempt to give politicians some control over the police, in the same way that it happens in the USA.

       1 likes

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  2. wendy writes:

    Welcome Pete, in my short informal survey of none-voters in Oxfordshire and Berkshire no-one has cited their lack of vote as being due to not wanting politicians to have further influence over the Police.

    Not wanting to vote based on Political affiliation was mentioned. Luckily, there are ways of making a voting decision other than the party affiliation of candidates. The only reason people gave me for not voting was lack of familiairty with the candidates positions and likely behaviours – lack of information.

    While your belief may be true, you’ve failed to back it with any convincing evidence.

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  3. Zed writes:

    I voted and had to look up the information online too, though there had been a short write-up in the local paper a couple of weeks previously.

    I had lunch with a group of friends on Thursday, all retired, well-educated women of professional status, public-minded and interested in current affairs. None of them thought elected Police Commissioners was a good idea. One made the point that it was bringing in administrators who had no background in health to run hospitals that had caused the problems with quality of nursing care and lack of interest in patients’ wellbeing (she used to be a senior nurse) and that the same thing would happen with the police.

    Lack of information and a distaste for it being a political appointment were mentioned, but the main reason for people not voting was that it was seen as an unwanted job – they would rather the money be put into the police service directly. Of eight of us, two voted (we both looked up info online), two intended to spoil their papers and four were not voting, although they had never missed an election before.

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  4. wendy writes:

    Zed, that’s really interesting because If I wanted change at that level – removal of the role – I wouldn’t actually consider spoiling my ballot paper (or not voting) as a clear, effective way of delivering that message. I’d find a more effective way to do it. Meanwhile, while the role exists I’d rather influence it to be held by someone qualified to audit the police service.
    I’m clearly not mystically subversive enough!

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  5. Nicky writes:

    Wendy! Are you calling Zed’s friends ‘passive-aggressive’? I think you are! You tinker! Isn’t bickering breaking one of your rules? Wendy – are you bickering? You are in a naughty mood this evening.

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  6. wendy writes:

    Nicky, I’m calling Zed’s friends interesting, they may represent a majority view amongst socially responsible professional women in the UK, and their approach is different from mine. I don’t think I’m quibbling, but I might be…

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  7. wendy writes:

    Radio 4’s PM show ran a balanced analysis of the turn-out. This notion of spoiling papers as a protest appears to be a common strategy for the UK electorate. Often with positive statements and advice about what *should* happen.

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