Look to reasons for voter apathy

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Having looked on the Council’s website for all the local results I was somewhat surprised to see that there were four candidates (Conservative/Lib Dem/Independent and Labour) standing in my local ward.

Despite the media suggestion that canvassing was taking place in the period immediately preceding the election I received but one campaign leaflet (from the Conservative candidate) and no doorstep visits from any of the candidates or their representatives.

As electors we are constantly berated by politicians for voting according to national preferences rather than on local issues. It seems that in Calderdale, or to be more precise Hipperholme, one is expected to turn up to the Polling Station in total ignorance of either the candidates or their policies and select one at random.

Is this the best we can do by way of local democracy?

I note from the on-line version of “The Courier” the suggestion of “voter apathy” since the turnout for this year was overall reduced from 41.7 per cent to 33.1 per cent, a drop of more than eight points. In Hipperholme the turnout was, in fact, 35.5 per cent, not far off the average.

How is it possible for politicians to continue to claim a mandate from the electorate to implement their policies?

Before they start blaming the electorate for apathy perhaps they should start addressing more fundamental issues of why people feel so apathetic.

This is the first occasion on which I have taken the deliberate decision not to vote. It may be a pointless protest but it is all I feel I can do. At least I have the satisfaction of being able to say, “Not in my name”.

David Thorpe