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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Herald Letter - Abysmal Council Election Turnout

   This letter was in the Herald yesterday.It was unedited. I was quite surprised it was published because it makes points in favour of UKIP & is designed as a recruiting call.
COMPLAINTS about inactivity during the council election have some justification. The reason that there were virtually no posters on the streets was because of an agreement between the big parties and Glasgow City Council to make them illegal. Having stood as a UKIP candidate I sympathise with the complaint that parties should not leave it to the media – the BBC, funded by the taxpayer and having a legal duty to be "balanced" notoriously give 40 times more coverage per vote to the Greens than to ourselves.
However, when a writer complains that the parties do not send out enough people delivering leaflets or canvassing the answer is obvious. Politics should not be a spectator sport. It used to be that the main parties had memberships in the hundreds of thousands. Now all the main parties' activists combined in Glasgow will be in the high hundreds.
Most of this is the parties' fault. The days when party conferences or individual members had any influence on most of them is long gone.
If you want a functioning democracy, deliver some of the leaflets – don't just bemoan the fact that they aren't being delivered. Work for whatever party most closely reflects your beliefs. Or do we want to reach the position where the only activists are those with comfortable jobs in quangos or as environmental lobbyists?

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