The UK police commissioner votes in November could be 'the most dangerous elections in modern British history' – claims candidate
I am urging the people of Kent and everywhere else in the country, to join me in protesting to the British Home Secretary about the forthcoming police commissioner elections. The Electoral Reform Society is predicting that turnout in the election could be as low as 15 per cent. The ERS is also highlighting the fact that independent candidates are being discriminated against, as they do not have the party machines to get their message out to voters.
On its campaign page, the ERS
is urging the Home Secretary to think again about helping all candidates to get their message across. It has highlighted the bizarre situation that the government is now about to send information to every household about the elections, but will not include any details about the candidates themselves. The ERS is also predicting that the election will have "the worst election turnout in history" and is castigating the government's election planning under the banner of 'how not to run an election'.
It is an open secret that the Electoral Commission itself is expecting legal challenges after November, especially if voting numbers are close. The argument will be that by only funding a Home Office website and allowing candidates to submit only 300 words, the government is effectively disenfranchising more than seven million voters who do not regularly use the internet - as well as refusing to aid all candidates in getting their message out to all voters. The country is sleepwalking into these elections. There is a very real danger that the main political parties will win most, if not all, of the police commissioner posts across the country - because of extremely low turnouts and the fact that only they have the party machines to get their message across to voters.
The fact that such a respected body as the ERS has been moved to run a national 'how not to run an election campaign' shows that this is a very real problem. My own straw polling across my county of Kent shows that a staggering 95 per cent of the county's voters do not want party politicians in charge of the police. This election could have the very dangerous outcomes for all police forces across the country, which could fall under the control of one party politician or another for the first time in history.
All of this simply because of the dismal and incompetent Home Office planning or, more to the point, the lack of planning. These elections are nothing short of a major constitutional change. As currently organised, they are unfair and undemocratic. They are threatening to deliver the overall outcome that the vast majority of United Kingdom citizens do not want – a politicised police forceAnn Barnes is an independent candidate for the role of Kent Police Commissioner and a former Kent Police Authority chairwoman