Where were the Big Four?
29 October 2011
The main political party candidates in the Inverness South Ward 20 by-election failed to attend a significant meeting in Inverness.
On Friday 28/10/2011 there was a public meeting in The Royal Highland Hotel beside the station in Inverness on Renewable Energy. It was organised by Jim Crawford, one of the councillors in the Ward, who invited the main parties and candidates fighting the by-election.
It was a well-attended meeting and the room was packed full - but it was not well attended by candidates of the main parties. Neither the SNP, Lib Dems, Conservative nor Labour candidates turned up.
However Donald Boyd, the Scottish Christian Party candidate, outlined the party’s position on renewable energy.
He also pointed out that the Leader in The Inverness Courier the same day, headed “Relevance of community councils”, highlighted the very issues which appeared in his own by-election leaflet. In addition, it stated “[Highland Council] Planners now admit that last August councillors were wrongly told that access details had already been agreed and there was no requirement for a new debate.” Dr Boyd has been closely involved in this debate about local democracy.
If this had been a televised or radio hustings, the four biggest parties would be invited and the smaller ones would be ignored.
So why did none of the main party candidates appear? Could it be that party managers did not think it useful or helpful for their candidates? However, these new candidates for the major parties did not demonstrate their abilities, or lack of abilities, in front of the you, the public. Rather their campaigns are led and managed by their respective Party machines, which rolled into action on their behalf.
Where does this leave you, the public? How can you assess the candidates if you cannot hear them speak and debate? This is the state of local democracy. No wonder the public gets more of the same.