Choice is good, use it wisely!

Submitted on Thu, 16/07/2009 - 5:32pm

The list of candidates has been published for the Norwich North by-election on 23rd July (only two days after Hertford's very own by-election for the Town Council on the 21st).  A staggering 12 nominations make up the list, this includes 3 Independent candidates.  It is so encouraging to see such a response to this by-election, brought about by the resignation of Labour MP, Ian Gibson following the expenses scandal that rocked Westminster in May. 

We saw back in May how Independents were now being seen as a real alternative in light of the disillusionment with our party representatives.  The backlash was so strong that in the European elections we saw UKIP and the BNP make shock wins across the board.  It seems that this by-election in Norwich North has come at a good time, allowing a range of candidates to make a stand and offer the electorate a choice. 

Some people may wonder the benefits of so many nominations and particularly more than one choice of Independent.  However at EHP we are delighted that this has happened.  We exist to promote and support the idea of Independent representatives.  We were brought in to existence in response to the single handed domination of one party in this area and because of the lack of choice available to the electorate.  In our own by-election next week we have two Independent's fighting it out in Hertford Castle for a seat.  Although some may say this splits the anti party vote, we view it differently; it allows people to look at the names of the candidates rather than the party they represent.  All too often people vote for a party without really looking at what the person has to say.  This is clearly evident in the case of Cllr Sacha Bright who did not attend meetings for six months and was subsequently thrown out; did he ever really want to be there?  Just because a candidate is waving a party flag does not guarantee they are a safe bet. 

What I am trying to say in a round about way is that maybe just maybe the offering of two Independent candidates versus a Conservative in Hertford Castle and a list of 12 candidates for Norwich North is an opportunity to set the wheels in motion for a real change in voting behaviour.  Call us idealists but we would like to think that every person privileged enough to use their vote to choose who represents them might look at the list of candidates, read each election leaflet and make an informed decision on who represents them, taking each person at face value.  It is your duty to make sure you use your vote and use it wisely whether you think that a Party affiliated representative or an Independent representative is the best choice is entirely up to you... 



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