Monday, 30 April 2012
My polling card has been propped up on the mantlepiece for a few weeks, gently reminding me of my responsibility on Thursday - the day Scotland goes to the polls to elect local councillors.
Not only has the system for voting changed in recent years, the boundaries have also changed. No longer do I have a councillor for my old ward, but I have the choice of three councillors for a newly named area. Confusing? Of course. For those of us of a certain age we prefer to acquaint ourselves with one, rather than three, individuals who would be the catalyst between ourselves and the distant council offices.
However, it's not the amalgamation of wards or the complex voting system which are causing me concern. It's the candidates. I don't think any of them deserve my vote yet I feel an obligation to place my cross somewhere.
My local councillors have betrayed many people around here. Along with others I attended the many public meetings involved in this large development; listened to their well prepared speeches in which they promised to fight tooth and nail for our cause, yet they let us down. One of these councillors is the convenor of the planning committee yet was unable to convince a few others to vote against the project. None of the others who voted for it live in this area and I was reliably informed none had even visited the site prior to the vote.
Various rumours have come and gone about how much effort councillors did make and I've paid little attention. It's too late now anyway because the development is well under way and the builders appear to have carte blanche to do whatever they wish.
Apart from this issue I don't see any improvements in the local area other than the main road having been resurfaced, primarily to make the approach to the new development more attractive.
No candidate or activist has been seen during or prior to the campaign and it's been suggested 'they're taking our vote for granted'. I agree. But the dilemma is do I vote for the party which I support even though I consider its candidates to be unworthy of my loyalty? Do I not bother voting at all? Or do I vote and spoil my ballot paper?
I have until Thursday at 10pm to decide.