Many people here in the UK will be voting next Thursday. In London, there will be an election for a new Mayor; in Wales, they will be electing members of the Welsh National Assembly. Here in Brighton we will be electing a new "Police and Crime Commissioner for the Sussex police area".
As an off-beat comment, I must say I find the title Police and Crime Commissioner a little strange. I always thought a commissioner was somebody who ordered something to be done or made, such as a picture or a statue, or an administrator like the old colonial District Commissioners. It seems to me that a Crime Commissioner should be somebody who organises crime, not a person responsible for fighting it!
But that is all by the bye.
It is highly probable that I, along with about 60% of the local population, will not bother to vote, which does go rather against my self-imposed principles. I think that we who live in democracies where elections for officials are - on the whole - straight and unrigged (and there are exceptions, even here in England), we who live in such countries have both the right to vote and the responsibility to exercise that right. I don't suggest use it or lose it, but I do think we should take our rights seriously.
On the other hand, I would suggest that those standing for election also have a responsibility to the electorate, a responsibility to tell voters what their policies and proposals are so that the electors are able to make a considered choice.
The only reason I have heard any of the names of the candidates for the Sussex Commissioner's post is because the Old Bat is registered for postal voting. I asked to see her voting paper so that I could find out who is standing for election. None of the candidates has made any attempt to persuade voters to elect them and there has been no attempt by any person, authority or organisation to even say who the candidates are. How can anyone possibly decide which of the five candidates is most suitable if we don't even know their names until we reach the polling station?
Another reason for my abstention in this farcical election is that each of the five candidates claims to represent a political party., the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and UK Independence parties. In my opinion (humble or otherwise), a Police and Crime Commissioner's post should not be the subject of party politics.
So, come Thursday, I shall just go and play elsewhere.