candidates for public office, often, aren’t even representatives of the population that has been asked to vote for them.

In council elections there are three councillor’s to each ward; presumably to give a voice to different communities within the ward.

This does not happen in practice, as the Councillors do not have to reside in the ward and do not have any real say on developments carried out by Council Officers in their wards.

The same is true in Parliamentary seats.

I’d like to propose two changes to the present system that might make the electoral system a little more representative of local wishes.

First, any project that has implications in an MP’s constituency, or a Councillor’s ward, must be approved by that representative.

If opposed then it would become a matter of public debate and a referendum.

Obviously party bosses might find this obstructive but if it is a matter of concern for the larger community e.g. HS 2 rail link, then the debate referendum could be held at that level.

Such an arrangement would avoid the sham of a public inquiry and avoid the accusation of corrupt politicians pandering to Multinationals etc.

Second, in order for the Community aspect to make sense, candidates for office would have to be members of the community. (no more parachuting placemen into seats).

Merely owning a house in the seat/constituency would not be sufficient qualification.

Obviously there is a problem of second homes etc., at least until politics moves  into the 21st Century and installs tele-conferencing.

The qualification could be simply spending 90 nights in any one year period, in that Community.

Obviously it would be more desirable if the residency was authentic, but 90 nights seems, to me, to be a minimum to enable local issues to be relevant to any representative.

One rider to this would be the immediate dismissal from office and a forced election poll, if a candidate was found to have failed this qualification.

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