Over the last few days I’ve been around Waltham Abbey South West putting election literature through letter boxes. I’ve not been around the whole ward yet – sore feet, non-party political campaigning and earning a living all limit the available time – but you should all have had a leaflet through your door by midweek.
The thing is, I’m delivering literature which is basically saying ‘Vote for ME!’
I don’t like delivering literature like that. It’s self aggrandising and inevitably has little information about local issues. It also implies that I’m better than the other candidates. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, we just stand for different things.
I’d much rather spend the time delivering our usual Green View which lets you know about local issues and events, and that’s the crux of why I dislike elections: they’re a distraction.
There’s a lot going on in Waltham Abbey right now, from the Royal Gunpowder Mills to the proposed Hillhouse development, from the loss of Abbey Organics (I learned about that after the newsletter had been published) to ongoing public transport issues.
Instead of giving background and opinion on those issues all of your local candidates (Conservative, UKIP and me as a Green) are putting things through your letter box which ask you to vote for us.
I find that frustrating.
However, elections are important – you don’t need to be a councillor to change things, but it helps – and electioneering is an inevitable side effect.
No matter who you’re going to vote for on Thursday please make sure that you vote. In 2012 the turnout was just 19%. 592 voters chose our District Councillor on behalf of 3182 people. In 2015 the turnout was 54% but that was a General Election year, which tends to lead to a larger turnout.
I’ll be glad when this election’s out of the way so that I can get on with focussing on the issues that matter rather than trying to get elected.
If you agree with what I stand for I hope that you’ll vote for me on Thursday but, whether I’m elected or not, I’ll carry on campaigning for and representing the people and businesses of Waltham Abbey.