Monday, June 30, 2008

A local candidate for local people

Gwyn Griffiths, a Lib Dem councillor from Crewe, has a good article on Lib Dem Voice questioning our current obsession with "local" candidates.

He says:

I can fully understand that ‘being local’ is a plus. As an agent I have enthusiastically produced Focus newsletters complete with maps highlighting the fact that our candidates live in the ward, with a great big X to mark the spot, and a sometimes vaguely-directed arrow to indicate that the Labour/ Tory rival lives “somewhere, out there, far away”. And when our candidate doesn’t live in the ward, well I’ve emphasised their other virtues.

But I have never felt the need to claim a local residency where one doesn’t exist, nor do I see the need or purpose to elevate ‘localness’ into the prime – and it sometimes seems the only – necessary qualification for elected office.

This obsession with "localness" - and the Liberal Democrats are by no means the only party it afflicts - is one of the factors that is leaching all meaninful contact from British politics and thus disaffecting the voters.

Later. Now read a relevant Bermondsey by-election anecdote.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I think in your last paragraph you underestimate just how much the public like having local candidates. Plugging in to what the public likes in this regard isn't allienating them. It's respecting their wishes.