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Hostility caused low turnout

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

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WITH one in ten voters in Swansea turning out to vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, I think it's high time the Westminster government conceded that the people of England and Wales have rejected yet another top-down reorganisation of a national institution.

Many Swansea residents I spoke to were not simply apathetic, but were actively hostile to these new positions. People consciously withdrew their consent by abstaining from the ballot, a fact Conservative spin doctors cannot hide from.

Police Commissioners elected on the basis of a 10-15 per cent turnout do not give them the authority they require to take office.

It is an insult to British democracy when David Cameron claims Police Commissioners can be legitimately elected on such a low turnout, while criticising Trade Union strike ballots as illegitimate when turnout is considerably higher.

I write in a personal capacity, but will be urging colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party to adopt a policy to scrap the commissioners and return to the Police Authorities which were mainly composed of local councillors, who are just as democratically accountable.

Councillor John Bayliss

Uplands Ward, Swansea

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  • Gwyddno  |  November 29 2012, 4:15PM

    Jim Dunckley's response to this letter is pathetic. http://tinyurl.com/clyzswd Dunckley doesn't let readers respond.

  • Dooyah  |  November 23 2012, 1:39PM

    rees91 The Tories should have held a referendum.

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  • rees91  |  November 23 2012, 1:25PM

    While I disagree with them being elected in the first place arguing they don't have legitimate authority is flawed I feel. People were not blocked from voting, they just didn't bother to vote - most likely because they were uninformed or didn't believe the elections were right. At what % of votes would give them legitimacy? In 2005 Labour only had 3% more votes than the Tories yet the whole country was run by Labour - does that seem legitimate? And what about council ward -elections where turnout is under 15%? Should those Councillors take their seat up or do they not have enough authority from the people?

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