Tuesday, 9 August 2016
It is all too personal
In an Island of just over 100,000 people officially, I guess I know about a thousand with some chance of remembering the name that goes with the face. What does it say about our electoral system and its representativeness then that I personally know 8 of the 11 candidates nominated for the by-election tonight, and two others are somewhat familiar to me from previous elections. I expect six of those would recognise me too. Elections shouldn't be that personal, it really isn't a healthy sign.
Here are the candidates
Nick Le Cornu
Guy de Faye
Yes, I'm not one of them. Yes, I was asked by a few people, but really what would standing achieve? Without a detailed wide ranging and coherent thought out manifesto for government and an organisation and some support by other elected members for that programme, nothing will happen. There are only 2 candidates on that list who from my knowledge have any grasp of the ecological and environmental issues, but I suspect neither will make it a major element of their election bid.
Hustings as in number of are being hotly debated, but why I wonder. In all my time campaigning in local, county and national election in the UK I never had a candidate hustings. That only ever happened in student elections and in candidate selection meetings. The format with more than a handful of candidates leaves no scope for debate , no means to challenge other candidates positions and policies. Just like the vapid statements so often put out as manifestos, it reduces the whole affair to little more than a name recognition exercise for the public. I guess that suits those with dubious to shredded records to defend , or in our system not have to defend.
I am not against having hustings. I've done them and I think it is good the electorate have an opportunity to see the candidates and hear someething of them. However it is to my mind inadequate and insufficient for the reasons given above.