IAN HART: Don’t let an apathetic attitude be the winner

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

While there is always a tendency for the film industry to over-egg the pudding, having watched Suffragette, I really think the film should be introduced to the senior school curriculum to show the nation’s youngsters the struggle women had to get the right to vote, and furthermore how important voting is.

Today is the day of the local elections and the poll is possibly one of the most significant in the recent history of the town.

The current state of the parties is 30 Conservative, four Lib Dem, two UKIP and one Green, which immediately throws up the question of whether seven councillors can really provide a credible opposition?

Obviously, with only a third of the council up sweeping changes won’t happen overnight, but by the same token if there are more local gains for the Tories, will the council all but resemble a one-party state?

Whatever the outcome, the most important thing is that the incoming elected councillors get a clear mandate from the electorate – and by a clear mandate I mean a decent turnout of voters.

With the exception of when the poll coincides with the General Election, over the years the number of voters exercising their right to vote has been very poor.

With less than half the local electorate being bothered to vote, do the stay-away residents give up any right to complain about the way Worthing is run?

Listening to the almost constant moans and groans in and around the town, that’s clearly not the case.

So perhaps now is the time for the apathetic faction to buck the trend and take 20 minutes or so out of their day to vote.

Democracy is a privilege, and many people over the years have made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of it.

I think it is such a shame so many don’t appreciate that fact.

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