Friday, 10 April 2009

Honesty Can Pay Voter Dividends

Blogs are great because others can read my opinion. I used to write to the papers to get my opinion across, but I have not written for a year or two as I got out of the habit of writing and then blogs took over. However I wrote to the local Morecambe Guardian newspaper last week and it was published today. What inspired me was a leaflet pushed through my door, and I am making the letter today's blog. The title was added by the editor. Some people make big decisions, but they are influenced by others and they can't be influenced by you unless you tell them.

You may like to read this along with last week's blog about independent politicians. Here is the letter.

Honesty Can Pay Voter Dividends

I received a political leaflet through my door this week that criticised Lancaster Council because Labour and Conservatives had worked together. It went on to personally criticise an individual Tory. In my experience the public do not hold politicians in high esteem precisely because they may insult each other and because they don’t work together. This leaflet seems to me to vindicate this view.

There will always be pros and cons to every political decision, and each politician will have his or her own ideas about the best way forward. Politicians may not always agree with their closest colleagues, and sometimes they will find themselves in the same camp as their opponents. Take for example the recent vote on whether to keep the Dome open. The Guardian listed those councillors who had voted for and against closure, and it appeared to me ironic that the only party that had voted en bloc were the Independents.

Take another example, the decision to create a Morecambe Council. There is an advantage because it allows another level of political participation but the disadvantage is that it comes at a cost. This leaflet took all the credit for the Council but also asked for candidates. Have they thought it through? Another level of government requires another level of governors, and clearly the Independent group needs more candidates. Is there an appetite for this election? Not recognising the cons, taking all the credit for council decisions with a minority of councillors, and public criticism of individual politicians will do nothing for politics in general. On a positive note I find that local politicians do work with the best motives, and a vote for any of the major parties would not be wasted.

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