Nik Butler: Horsham voters should avoid being dazzled by distractions

JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001
JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001

When last week the prospective candidate for Parliament, James Smith, added his signature to the Free Speech Charter; he joined a list of other individuals, such as myself, who believe that the responsibility of the elected is to represent the community before they support corporate.

With a little more than 200 days until the next General Election, which include elections for District and Parish you can expect to hear more from candidates about their parties and the value of your vote.

As a democracy in the modern world we are in an fortunate position; we have recently, through the Scottish referendum, demonstrated that it is possible to campaign and to discuss the change of power and authority without the need for violence and civil war. We have a society who have provided a vote irrespective of gender, sexuality, income, or to a certain extent age.

Therefore I find it fascinating just how quickly campaign managers within political parties can devalue every voters contribution by way of aggregated maths and creating the fear of failure in casting your vote.

Thanks to the mechanisms in play relating to how votes are counted there is much debate over the contribution of every vote cast. Conversely I consistently encounter a general apathy at voting in Sussex due to the belief that only a select party will ever be successful.

Would it not then be a refreshing change if the public were to hold up the charter as a new foundation of their expectations in the upcoming elections. What if each woman and man that cast a vote did so because they wanted to vote for an individual not the party. They voted because of the ideas and not the tactics of party imbalance.

We should enter the next 200 days by asking questions in regards to each candidates commitment to represent their electorate not in terms of party guidelines or misguided beliefs in leader loyalty.

Whilst it will be easy to be distracted by national issues and media coverage that will blanket the country Horsham voters should avoid being dazzled by the lights.

I would hope that when polling booths open Horsham’s electorate will seek to vote for the benefit of local issues. To vote for those whose voice in the council is not determined by ulterior selections in out of council meetings; controlled by self electing groups not available at the ballot box.