I am ashamed to say that I didn’t vote last night. This is the first time I can ever recall not voting and it doesn’t please me particularly when I think how hard people have worked to provide me with this right. Unfortunately I felt I had no choice. The lack of ‘proper’ debate was the overriding reason why I didn’t turn up at my local voting station. What little I did pick up on came from a brief discussion on my local radio when my local candidates discussed what they were going to do with their pot of money. But their names I cannot recall and their objectives have largely escaped my imagination because I’m still preoccupied with the argument as to why we need a police commissioner in the first place? If I can’t resolve that argument and why these people have to be politically linked then I cannot vote. I’m sorry if I’ve not used this democratic right but I cannot vote for a system that I have concerns about which brings me to the other point.
Was there a public debate about whether we should have a police commissioner or not and, if so, when? I cannot recall such a debate but perhaps I haven’t been interested enough in the work of our police force to engage with such a discussion. Nevertheless the point is this, we simply can’t give people a chance to vote for something they either don’t understand or know little about. People like me need a far greater awareness of the work of our police force to understand how it should be made accountable. In other words, I’m not ready to elect a police commissioner. I’m still at the stage of wanting a debate on why we need a police commissioner particularly one that is affiliated to a political party.
Not surprisingly, if reports are anything to go by, turnouts are very poor. In my area alone turnouts are barely 13%. Clearly I’m not the only one who is disgruntled by the whole thing.