“Caroline, what should I be looking for when voting for a Police Commissioner?”
Several people asked me this today.
Well, I’ve no intention of telling people how to vote but I’m more than happy to tell them what I think.
For me, the crucial things one should be looking for in such an election are true democracy and non-party affiliation. You want to elect the best person for this taxing job – not one rich enough to risk the deposit or backed by a major political party, standing with a political agenda. Law enforcement needs to be above political ideology.
In these PCC elections you needed a £5000 deposit to stand (ten times more than the £500 required to stand as an MP) and there was no freepost delivery . This second point is very important – the single free postal delivery that every candidate in a general election is allowed is what gives them a fair chance to address the whole electorate and explain what they want to do, however poor and unsupported they may be.
The current circumstances mean that nobody could stand, or put out a leaflet unless backed by a party or other wealthy organisation.
Is this democracy? I would say not!
So did I vote?
Of course I did. At least, I went to a polling station and I entered a polling booth with a voting paper in one hand and a pencil in the other. And how I used that pencil is between me and my conscience!