Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Elected Mayor - You Decide!

So, at last the whole tedious rigmarole about whether we should have an elected mayor in Darlington comes to an end tomorrow with our referendum. It may have gripped the political chattering classes, but the average resident has been barely moved by the whole saga.

It took the campaigners a year to collect the signatures required, and even then they were short!

Just this morning, as I sat in my office wondering whether to do some work or write some stuff for the next North Road Focus, a couple of the ladies who work for me stuck their heads round the door. "What's all this about an elected mayor, then? We haven't been told anything about it." The leaflet from the Council, the articles in Town Crier, the letters in the Echo, the roadshow...all failing to communicate the essential message that tomorrow the good people of Darlington can go out and vote for, or hopefully against, a major change in the way we run our town. I predict a low turnout.


miketually said...

If they're registered voters, did they not get their polling cards?

I'd agree that most people just don't care. One of my wife's friends expressed what most poeple are thinking very succinctly: "Honestly, who gives a ****?" Until today, I'd only heard the elected mayor mentioned once at work, other than by myself or a colleague who is active in local politics (she's a Lib Dem).

I heard, on Sunday, that 30% of voters had registered for a postal vote. Of these, 40% had been recieved as of Sunday. That's a 12% turnout already.

I'm in London tomorrow, for work. Assuming the trains are ok, I'll be casting my 'no' vote.

ian holme said...

Mike B,
Agree it has barely raised any interest amongst the community, but then neither do "normal" local elections.

My view remains that the public only get engaged in local issues when something they hold dear is put in peril. Be that schools, town centres etc.

On day to day events they couldnt care less as long as their kids have a school and the bins get emptied.

In the end we get the quality of politics our apathy deserves