How to vote! Indeed whether to vote?
Living in a very safe District Council ward in a very safe constituency, I knew I could not help choose my District Council or Parliamentary representative who would not really represent me. Similarly, my vote would not help decide which party controlled the District Council or led the next Government.
Eventually I decided, but I had no problem whatsoever with the lowest tier of government, the Parish Council.
None of the Parish Council candidates is party-backed. There are eight contesting six vacancies in my ward. Five of the eight oppose a development on a unique coastal green space and three support the development so my votes and support go to the five.
It’s a refreshingly exciting election. There are no parties so voters cannot vote automatically and unthinkingly for “the party”. The seats are not safe, so every vote can make a difference and the electorate is small so a small number of votes may make a big difference.
Sadly the voting system for the parish election is “First 6 Past The Post”, which is even more undemocratic than “First Past The Post” but there is a lot of interest in the election. Local people are more likely to abstain from the General Election than this one.
That’s how it could be with the Single Transferable Vote (STV). Every vote could be effective; all voters could feel they were making a difference and contributing to the result.