Today a Torbay Town Hall publication dropped thought the letter box. It comes a few times a year and is full of interesting things such as how to vote at the elections to be held in May. Not which party to vote for I should add, just how to vote. You can walk down to the polling station or you can get some one else to walk down there for you, called a proxy vote or you can register for a postal vote. As our local polling station is in side a Christian church I have decided to register for a postal vote. Here in Torquay we will get 3 voting papers, one for the council, one for the government referendum on a possible change to the voting system and the third on who we want for elected mayor. Personally I don't want anyone for elected mayor. What am I doing voting for a council who are supposed to run the town if the mayor sits there and makes all the important decisions. I have always been brought up with the idea that councils are run by councillors. Mind you I did vote for an elected mayor in the referendum 5 years ago, not because I was in favour of the idea but in the hope that it would be better that having another set of inept councillors pretending to be in charge when all they seemed to be doing is back biting and knocking the opposition without actually doing much for Torbay. The political rallying cry of the last 12 years has been, "Elect us and we will undo all the bad things the last lot did while they were in power." Didn't matter which side was saying it because it ended up with nothing being done once the balance of power changed. Power in council chamber has changed at each election for the last 15 years. Three years one lot then, 3 years the other lot, then all change once again. Probably happen again this time but there is now an added complication. The LibDems are the opposition and could have lost support since Nick Clegg turned his party's manifesto into so much scrap paper and went and sat next to David Cameron up there in London.
Now the magazine also told anyone who is interested who to go about standing for mayor. You just need £500 which you will get back provided you can get 5% of the voters to put their mark next to your name. Even better if you can get 51% of them to vote for you. The present list of candidates, I am sorry to say doesn't present the voters with an obvious front runner. So pick who you want and vote for them. Or don't bother voting at all, that is your democratic right.
The third voting paper, bet you thought I'd forgot, asks do you want to stick with first past the post (present system) or an Alternative Vote system (used to elect our mayor). If you understand who it works then you are in a position to decide which way to vote on this matter. If you don't, then don't vote for it just because it seems like a good idea or you feel like a change. If you are voting don't just put your cross in the first available space. That isn't the wonderful democracy our government are trying to export round the world, it plain laziness. Think before you vote, otherwise you get the positions you deserve.