Friday, April 29, 2011

Less than a week to go

The royal wedding is safely over, and although I didn't spend the morning watching the proceedings on TV I do wish them a long and happy marriage.  Recent British royal weddings don't show a great track record for happiness or longevity, like so many non-royal ones.  Something is lacking in the understanding of words like Vow, or maybe we need a new word to take on the solemnity and purpose which that word used to hold.
Meanwhile there's an taking place here.  All 56 Stockton Borough Council seats are being contested, as well as a number of parishes around the borough.  Here in our ward of Eaglescliffe Preston parish has no contest as there were not enough people nominated for the seats but Egglescliffe is contested with 14 people fighting 13 seats.
There's been a bit of confusion in some people's minds about the numbers of people standing for Eaglescliffe ward.  There are 3 seats for people to represent Eaglescliffe so the Lib Dems, like Labour and Conservatives, have nominated 3 people.  Electors can then decide whether to vote for all 3 of one party or some combination of people they think might do a good job of representing the area.
Other people who live in Eaglescliffe are standing for election in other parts of the borough.  That's quite common in all parties - people have an affinity with an area, perhaps because they grew up there or their parents live there or they know a lot of people who live there - and they apply to their party for nomination for that area.
Lots of people vote by post these days and if you haven't completed and posted your form you need to do it soon - they've got to be in by 10pm on Thursday.  If for any reason you don't get it posted you can drop it into a polling box at a polling station on the day, but you can't go to the polling station and get another form.
And then of course there's the referendum - a straightforward yes or no vote.  The campaigners for a no vote have been carrying out some very misleading campaigning, telling some downright lies (no voting machines are needed - the votes can be done by hand as they are now), and frightening people about coalition governments.  But lots of countries in the world have coaltions and survive, and lots of places have some kind of alternative or proportional voting and don't have coaltions.  Look no further than Scotland and the Scottish Parliament!  AV isn't my first choice for proportionality but it's better, slightly, than the present system.
And for those who think it's just the Lib dems wanting more parliamentary seats - many analysts think we'd get fewer seats!  It's about Lib Dems wanting more democratic government, not just in Parliament but across the country.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Thanks for answering my points of LibDems mainly standing people from Eaglescliffe and Yarm, it wasn't fully answered because the LibDems have a lot more candidates than anyone else standing in areas they don't live in, wards don't matter so much but towns do.
AV will help the LibDems but any change to the system would so I don't think you're doing it out of self-interest.
People who are No to AV have told lies I agree, a lot of their arguments are silly, but the Yes to AV lot have made stuff up too. People for the most part aren't interested which is a shame as its the first referendum in 35 years.
If I can ask out of interest - how is Billingham North going, I see from your website the councillors stood as LibDems and then switched, do you think you'll get it back? Or was it the people and not the party?