Guest post by Nadia Ramoul
This week I watched the 3rd Presidential debate and the moderator Bob Schieffer ended with advice from his mother: “Go Vote. It makes you feel big and strong.” I really couldn’t agree more with this. I always encourage people to go and vote, ok I may try and convince people to vote for my favored candidate but I truly believe we all should actively engage with politics our democracy maybe isn’t perfect but we at least have a voice.
Therefore as someone who is keen on exercising my democratic right to vote, I was surprised to only recently learn that on the 15th November there are Police and Crime Commissioner elections happening across England and Wales. The soon to be elected commissioners will have access to unprecedented power over constabulary funding. Personally can’t help but think these Commissioners are being put in place by the coalition as a political buffer to enforce unpopular cuts to police funding. Localise the control = localise the blame kind of thinking.
The electoral commission are expecting a turnout of around 18% boosted a partly because of by-elections taking place in 5 parliamentary seats across the country. The main reason I am aware is because I have started working on a campaign with Lush Ltd encouraging people to vote for wildlife friendly commissioners, who will allocate more budget to policing wildlife crimes. One thing that has struck me about this election is how little information is available about the commissioners and they seem to all be old grey men. Yes I know I will be one in the future but it still isn’t very representative of the wider population.
I am really interested to hear your views on the following questions related to the elections: Do you think we should have Police Commissioners? If so, are you planning to vote? And what does your favoured local candidate stand for? If the turnout is below 20% are the elections even valid in your eyes?
You can find out about the wildlife policies of Police Commissioner candidates by visiting https://wildlifecrime.lush.co.uk although saying that there haven’t been many responses so far…