The success of independent candidates in the Police Commissioner elections begs the question of what this means.
My first theory is that many people didn’t want to vote for a “political” person to have this important role. Then I suspect that many of the Independent candidates are actually former police officers (who didn’t want to ally themselves to a political party).
I can sympathise with the cynicism about politicians after the scandals about expenses. But I also believe that membership of a political party – wearing the badge – demonstrates a set of values and attitudes to people.
Liberal Democracy to me continues to be about Freedom, Liberty and Fairness (with a capital letter at the beginning of each word !). Caring about local people and the communities they live in, and empowering them is living this out in practice day-by-day as well as trying to stand up for the big issues of protecting civil liberties, promoting affordable warmth and so on.