Democracy takes a hit – but we can change the cycle

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Given the low turnout of these elections I must conclude the real loser is democracy.

I can testify from my own experience of knocking on people’s doors the vast majority of folk have very little interest at all in politics. As we get increasingly busy and focused on trying to get by with our own lives, it seems we no longer have the time for each other. There are of course still some people out there who are engaged with their communities, and it is always a pleasure to meet them.

Those who are upset or apathetic cannot be blamed for being so. There are so many good reasons to feel this way. Yet whatever the reason for this general mood of apathy, I believe it increasingly poses a real danger to us all. As people get more upset with local politics fewer will get involved. Already membership of political parties has fallen to dangerous levels, and with this fall in grass-roots membership political parties are now increasingly in the pockets of big business or big unions. I strongly believe we all have a duty to break this cycle of cynicism and apathy. It is down to us to change things, history has taught us no one will do it for us.

Coun James Baker

Hebden Royd Town Council