The Party Line

The Party Line
Independent candidates did fairly well in the recent PCC elections. Supporters of the main political parties stayed at home and the Lib Dems did not put up candidates in many seats.

Independent politicians claim to be apolitical, but they are simply politicians who do not tell the public what they truly believe. A Party affiliation tells voters something about the values of a candidate. I may not agree with these values but at least they are explicit; for example we know that a Tory will believe in a free market economy and thinks there is a place for profiteering in health and education. Before the Coalition, the Liberal Democrats used to believe in Gay marriage, civil liberties and electoral reform. We know that a UKIP candidate will do nothing apart from blame the EU for everything. A Green Party candidate advocates sustainable development, a balanced energy policy and protection of the environment. The Labour Candidate believes in social justice, community cohesion, progressive taxation and being rewarded for hard work.

Independent candidates are not so open about their beliefs. This can sometimes be an advantage. When talking to voters an independent can simply agree with the voter. They can agree with every position on every matter and change colour like a chameleon. They can also disagree with all parties and join in with the ‘plague on all your houses’ approach to politics. Make no mistake, Independent candidates are politicians. Several groups of ‘Independents’ in local councils even belong to registered political parties calling themselves the and have party leaders.

There were Independent candidates in the PCC election who were actually Lib Dems. There are Independents in Labour voting areas who are actually Tories. Rather than being apolitical these candidates are just hiding their views from the electorate.

A Labour candidate will have Labour values are Labour values, and The Lib Dems have shelved their values in return for a taste of power, but at least voters know what these values are. Political parties get a lot of criticism, but when you put an X next to a Labour rose you know exactly what you are voting for.

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One thought on “The Party Line

  1. Of course, all parties cover a a spectrum, and certainly in Labour the Blairites in Progress do not share views of those to the Left of the Party, though New Labour is behind us. Yet a voter can expect a certain philosophy and approach from one party. Independents are an unknown. Perhaps the LibDems are too! In Avon and Somerset the right wing candidate, standing as the only woman and as an Independent was elected. Very little literature was received. On line comments said she was standing as nonparty political. However, being in contact with local Labour councillors we were warned the candidate was a Tory, and not to be fooled by the Independent tag. In contrast, in Worcester, the Independent candidate also elected was said to oppose any privatisation. Avon and Somerset’s chief constable indicated he would be leaving, (on fixed term contract) refusing to reapply for his own job, and many others are resigning. I have always read ‘Tory’ whenever I see the word Independent, many of them being landowners, and we should all beware of theIndependent candidate. Until a parcel is unwrapped there is no knowing what is inside.Very good blog Liam, and well said.

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