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May 02, 2006

Why bother voting in the council elections?

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The Students' Union is currently urging us all to vote in the local council elections this Thursday, apparently for the sole reason of stopping the BNP gaining a foothold.

Last year, a member of the campaign team of each candidate for the seats in both the House of Commons and the local council for which I was registered to vote, delivered to each home in the area a leaflet detailing why, in that candidate's opinion, we should vote for him/her. Based on this information, along with what I already knew or thought about each candidate and the party he/she represented, I was able to make a reasonably informed decision as to which of them I should vote for.

This year I have received no such information. I have no idea who the candidates are, let alone what any of them claims to stand for. I could probably find this information if I was prepared to search hard enough, but why should I? As far as I can see it should be up to the candidates to make it available to me and all the other voters in this election, not up to me to seek it out. I shall not be voting on Thursday, and no doubt this will be viewed as apathy on my part and on that of all others who do likewise. It's not: it's apathy on the part of the candidates. Why should I bother to vote for any of them if they can't be bothered to tell me why, as they see it, they deserve my vote?

I will point out here that I am completely opposed to the BNP and the policies it stands for, but I consider that, if I decide to vote for a particular candidate, it should be on his or her own merits rather than because of any dissuasion from voting for his or her opponent(s).

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