I actually felt like a vandal committing a criminal act by spoiling my ballot paper but felt it was the only way that I could demonstrate my disgust with the way we citizens of the U.K. have had this sneaky piece of legislation thrust upon us. Whoever in Government thought up this lunacy to replace Police Commissioners with clueless politicians should be ashamed and suspended from office. Apart from the indecent waste of taxpayers money to establish this venture plus the cost of these ‘elected’ political pretenders salaries, imagine how members of our hardworking police force must feel being governed by these impostors. Officers who have risen through the ranks demeaned and demoralised. No doubt Matthew Ellis will work ‘well’ with our Staffordshire Police Force as he’ll have no choice but to do so if only to enable himself to pick the brains of highly experienced personnel. I have always voted Tory so in my opinion, one small consolation is that we don’t have a Labour Party member snatching the ‘top job’. If you live in a Shire that had a candidate from a police background who has won the vote then you’re extremely lucky but it still does not alter the fact that the whole saga is really nothing more than a Greek tragedy played out on British soil.
I do not feel that a straight choice between Labour and Conservative candidates, backed by party funds, was democratic. Independent candidates, who would have had to find their own deposit and were not given government support for mailshots were unsurprisingly absent.
In the event, a Conservative was elected. If a Labour government comes to power at the next General Election will a conservative Commissioner be wholeheartedly committed to implementing the policies of a government he does not support?
I am 82 years of age and have voted in every election, by-election, or referendum for which I have been eligible. I did not want to abstain and the only option left was to spoil my ballot paper/
Didn’t agree with this vote as only options were either labour or conservative. If this role is required (cannot comprehend how apparently costs to date could fund several hundred police officers can be justified) the person should be responsible only to their voters and have no party political masters to take into account. (I dream of a day when all those MPs stand only for their constituents)
It would be interesting to know how the massive amount of money this has cost had been spent. The cost of a comment or two online is pretty cheap and wasn’t much else done in Staffordshire
The PCC system puts too much power with one person and worse still is dominated by big party political machinery. I don’t want a tory or labour politician spouting their views. Even if I agreed with the PCC idea, they are supposed to represent the public’s views but the candidates have utterly failed to engage with the public. I have been on the look out for notices of public meetings / hustings but have found none. Any I’ve heard about have been after they have happened. It’s rather pathetic really.
My voting pattern in recent years has been to examine what each candidate has to offer and even quiz them on this, then decide. I have a bit of a bias towards independent candidates who really care about their communities. The trouble with political parties is they can tell you one thing, get party whipped, then betray you. But obviously I wouldn’t vote for any independent, they would have to be decent and representative with sensible views. The £5000 deposit required from these candidates could put it out of reach for many independents, deliberately perhaps to ensure dominance from major parties. This large deposit is another reason I object to the PCC elections as a whole.
On the campaigns, Matthew Ellis has certainly conducted a better campaign than Joy Garner. He has a dedicated web site setting out his views. She doesn’t, or if she does I certainly haven’t seen it. Matthew also has a dedicated email address and encourages views to be sent to him. I could email Joy at Stoke-on-Trent city council but this isn’t a PCC dedicated route. Matthew has bothered to drop a leaflet through my door, with a reply slip and freepost address. No leaflet whatsoever from Joy. Their policies and statements have positive and negative aspects but not a lot of substance. Matthew seems to have thought about the issues more deeply than Joy.
So why don’t I vote for Matthew Ellis? Well, I might have voted for one of these candidates if I had been convinced enough. But whilst he is the least bad, I don’t think either of them comes up to the mark enough and I still have issues over the deposit and power factors of the whole system. Neither candidate has provided an opportunity for a public meeting, or to meet them, not even an automated reply from Matthew’s email. The key thing they both fall down on is engaging with the public, neither have shown enough willingness for this or have proper plans for it if they win. It just seems to be they expect if they are voted in then they can assume they have a mandate to do what they want without asking the public, if we don’t like it we don’t vote for them next time. Meantime they can wreak havoc and we can do nothing. We see this well enough with what Stoke-on-Trent city council puts us through. This is another prime reason to spoil the ballot, to protest against this poor example of so-called democracy.
This website allowed people to publicly explain why and let people know what message they were trying to send by spoiling their Police & Crime Commissioner ballot papers.
The submission form has now been removed, but the material collected is available to read.