Don’t shoot the messenger …..Please!
With just days to go before the national and local elections the Uttlesford streets seem to be teeming with smiling canvassers of all political hues promising the earth and disturbing dinner.
Dressed in track suits, anoraks or neat shirts and ties, carrying clip boards, satchels and wads of brochures they walk from street to street, house to house, and door to door in an effort to convince voters to give them their cross.
So what should we do? Do we hide behind the sofa and keep very quiet for the critical three minutes hoping they’ll decide we’re out and move on to the next victim or, perhaps, affix a huge sign on the door saying “Absolutely No Canvassing EVER!”
…or do we take our chances and actually engage them in political debate?
This inevitably would lead to a never-ending stream of hopeful “friends” desperate to convert us and, logically, to an eternity of disrupted dinners and interrupted TV?
But there is another side to this story.
For these men and women are tireless would-be public servants. Their cause is possibly for free debate and, come to think of it, their dinners are also disturbed.
The point really is that this “clunky” system is how the resident gets to play an active part in shaping their own futures.
In a perfect world everyone votes. Everyone considers the issues of the day and each decides who is best to lead the council – for them. This then, leads to a consensual election and an accountable council.
It also ensures that those representatives who fail to consider their voters, who fail to listen to their demands and wishes and who then fail to deliver on their promises are punished and removed from office.
And all of this, on just and reasonable grounds. In other words – Democracy.
In this way a few interrupted meals and cherished TV shows lead to greater involvement, better planning and more transparent representation. In Uttlesford this should also delver better infrastructure and improved services.
Seems worth the interruption doesn’t it?