Crime commissioner poll a total waste of our money
DID you vote for your local police crime commissioner this week?
Chances are your answer will be "no" because the event will be remembered for one thing – producing a record low turnout for a national poll in peacetime.
The police crime commissioner elections have been a total fiasco – a complete waste of time and money.
What's the point of having an election nobody wants?
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It was foisted on the public by politicians and, frankly, it's no surprise the turnout ranged from 13% to 20% across the country.
When not a single voter walks through the doors of a polling station in Newport, it shows something is seriously wrong.
In Derbyshire, just 14.75% of the voting population took part in an election which cost the county £1 million – a vast amount of money amid one of the worst recessions the country has ever seen.
Whichever pot the cash came out of, when people see schools crumbling, NHS cutbacks, care homes being shut and thousands of people losing their jobs, spending giant sums on anything that does not appear absolutely necessary seems abhorrent.
Jenny Watson, chair of the Electoral Commission, said: "The low turnout at the police and crime commissioner elections is a concern for everyone who cares about democracy."
Well, democracy works both ways. In a country where we are supposed to have a voice, people expect to be listened to.
But when the nation does want a poll, such as a referendum on Europe, they don't get one.
As far as this shambolic affair is concerned, one excuse for the apathy is that people did not know who they were voting for, what they stood for or why there was any need for police crime commissioners on salaries of £75,000 anyway.
This is not entirely true. This paper has never agreed with these elections but that has not stopped us publicising the views of all those involved for months.
The fact of the matter is, people did not want this election. They were not interested and could not see the point.
The only way to voice that was by not voting.
Derbyshire's new police crime commissioner Alan Charles has a chance to prove us all wrong. But he will have a mountain to climb to do so.
What a waste of money!