Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Mayoral Referendum

Everybody has a bit of a moan about the way the council's run. Often, the citicism is well founded, but then democracy and consensus politics was never going to be as easy as sniping from the sidelines.

So along comes a bloke with a remedy, and a few 'wait and see' promises to persuade us to use it. Why not scrap the old system, he says, and have a nice Mayor instead?  You can even choose who it is.

He insists on an answer on May 3rd.

You look at local government and know it's one of those situations where, as they say, something must be done. The coalition government is proposing something. So why not do it?

In the past, there have been plenty of alternative 'somethings' suggested, not least by the Greens. Some of them are listed, with reasons, on this newly released leaflet.
Yes, there's lots that's wrong with what we have, and councillors themselves often have to struggle with it.

We could certainly have a fairer, more representative, voting system.

We could make our elected reps more accountable, with a 'recall' system such as the Greens have already signed up to on a voluntary basis (other parties found all sorts of excuses not to).

We could change council procedure, so that it's less easy to abuse simply to score cheap party points.

We could strengthen the local, neighbourhood, element of our democracy, which is woefully lacking at present.

Concentrating all the power in the hands of a single, perhaps more personally ambitious and charismatic, 'leader' figure seems to be going in completely the wrong direction.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more.


The Bristol Blogger said...

Rubbish. A mayoral election campaign would be a really good laugh.

Paul Bemmy Down said...

Local and neighbourhood democracy would be great, but how do you achieve it? Apathy rules, which is the biggest threat if we did have elections for a Mayor. Perhaps every environmental and green group should get together and sort out a good candidate who we could all get behind. Hardly democracy, but you can bet there are other powerful interests already planning for such an event.