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.