Without wondering as to why, with turnout so low, it took so long to return results, I’m bemused by some of the reaction to the PCC elections. My local organ piped up with a pre-result piece, in which are quoted three of the (ultimately losing) candidates bemoaning Home Office promotional ineptitude. Two of these have still not responded to my request for information, with the other one assuming that copying me in to some confusing faith-based opinion would satiate; and having still received neither acknowledgement nor response from my area’s winner, an ‘Independent’ former Tory councillor, I wonder that aspersions on responsibility for the whole fiasco might also be cast more locally.
The Blue Spectre nevertheless insists that the elected PCCs do have a mandate, despite turnouts averaging around the 15% mark. Yet Cameron, it was astutely pointed out on the radio the other day, is, along with others, more than ready to question the legitimacy of Trade Union ballots that poll less than 30% of members. Wonder how he weighs these figures against his own share of the vote (36%) at the last general election, which failure to secure a clear majority meant that he was not provided a mandate himself.
Anyway, what is it with this tosh argument that goes something like… ‘If you didn’t vote, you’ve no grounds for complaint’? Does this reasoning go that, by choosing not to exercise your right to vote, you forfeit your right to interact with the person/body elected to serve/represent you? Whether or not you had recourse to sufficient information upon which to decide your voting preference, you should have voted regardless? In other words, you should have voted for someone you don’t want, or don’t know enough about, or otherwise shut up? That your (lack of) opinion on the whole exercise is of no import?
Instead, perhaps it is worth considering that (notwithstanding the apathetic component) the non-voting majority cast a perfectly democratic ‘choice’: an antipathetic rejection of candidates running on party political tickets for election to apolitical office. Silence is voluminous. Thus spake 85% of the people. And they’ve as much right to complain as anybody.