We are where we are. Few really want a city mayor, still less want a Police & Crime Commissioner (I love that title.... which gets commissioned first?). But in 48 hours will have one of each, so we might as well limit the damage by voting to minimise the damage.
Or even to really change the face of Bristol for the better.
First choice for mayor – Daniella Radice, of course. Uniquely, she offers a clear manifesto, strong commitments to neighbourhood democracy, to equality, and to a green city, plus an honest commitment to reduce cuts. Not forgetting my favourite... a real interchange at Temple Meads.
It's not a wasted vote, either; if the unlikely doesn't happen (though sometimes it does), there's always the second preference vote.
Mine goes to George Ferguson. Some doubts – there's little commitment to equalities, a suspect over-reliance on market forces, and promises of neighbourhood democracy are very vague. But those are over-ridden by a freedom from party dependency, by a broad commitment to green issues, by an impressive track record – and by being less bad than the rest!
Marvin Rees might have got that second vote but for being so deeply bound into Labour Party structures and expectations to the exclusion of all and everyone else. Geoff Gollop was never in the running for me because of the company he keeps, and ex-Doctor JonRogers.... well, even apart from his loyalty to the party that lets this government claim a mandate to do what it does, who wants a mayor who treats the residents as gullible idiots, as so much of his publicity does?
For PCC, Pete Levy gets my first vote. His comprehensive manifesto shows he's thought it through, and his priorities and values look both right and realistic. Pity about the LibDem party label.
The others seem much of a muchness, all offering similar platitudes that will offend no-one. So Sue Mountstevens gets the second vote, simply because she's independent of party ties.