17/11/2012

Winston's Mega Mandate

I have received a number of press releases from organizations who are concerned about the democratic deficit caused by so few voting in the Thursday's Police Commissioner Elections. I could use them to fill the void in my recent blogging activity, but I won't because personally I am very, very pleased that so few voted.

Unlike other regional elections, such as the Regional Assembly Lists and the All Wales European Election List – the Commissioner vote has been a vote for an individual rather than for a list member.

As an individual, despite a miserly 15% turnout, Winston Roddick's 35K vote is three times the personal vote won by any constituency AM in North Wales and twice the personal vote of any MP elected in North Wales.

Despite the limitations of his job, despite the lack of confidence in the vote, despite the pathetic turnout numbers Winston Roddick is currently, by far, the individual elected with the largest personal mandate in the whole of North Wales - and that's the danger of these elections! Imagine the moral authority the person elected to the post would have if 70 or 80% of us had cast a vote!

I hope that the low turnout will result in the abolition of these elections – because the danger of just one individual Police Boss having more electoral clout than any MP or AM in North Wales frightens me.

It is that sort of power that leads to the creation of a Police State.

16 comments:

  1. This is also why I don't like directly elected mayors and the turning of the councils into week rubbers stamp bodies, I don't like the concentration of power into any one pair of hands.

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  2. "Winston Roddick's 35K vote is three times the personal vote won by any constituency AM in North Wales and twice the personal vote of any MP elected in North Wales".

    Except North Wales police covers something like 10 constituencies

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    1. There are eleven constituencies in the NW policing area, Dwyfor Meirionnydd is in mid Wales for Assembly regional votes but is policed by the northern plods; the number of constituencies is immaterial Winston is still the elected official with the most votes in North Wales; the importance of that is negated by the low turnout but what if he had 140,000 votes in a 60% turnout that would give him an unhealthy ex official authority. As the next two commissioner elections are due to coincide with Assembly elections and then a Westminster elections there is a danger of an individual getting that size of vote in future.

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  3. ^ Exactly, unless you compare like for like it's meaningless.

    A percentage comparison would be far better is there any point since it's blatantly clear how meaningless and pointless PCCs are. They are an English solution to an English problem. The sensible option would have been to devolve policing in Wales. This would have instantly created 60 PCCs (and promoted cross party dialogue) without spending a penny on another election.

    I and many others only turned up so that I could spoil my ballot.

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    1. But we don't compare like for like in other circumstances - take, for example, the Mayor of London who's influence is far greater than the official power of his office because of the sum of his vote, my fear is that on a larger turnout a PCC might also gain disproportionate influence, which is why I want the post abolished before any further elections take place.

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    2. So we need to devolve policing so we can abolish Englands system of PCCs in Wales then.

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  4. Bill Chapman17/11/2012 17:34

    This was absolutely not a vote for an individual and not a personal vote - almost no one knows him. Furthermore, one north Wales area runs counter to David Cameron'ss localism agenda. A crime commissioner in Caernarfon is not local if you live in Dolgellau or Wrexham.

    Like you, I hope for the abolition of these elections. I would go further and call for the abolition of these unwanted and unnecessary posts.

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    1. Sorry Bill but it was a vote for an individual. The test is what happens if the elected office holder dies or resigns - in the case of councillors, constituency AMs, MPs and PCC's a by-election will be held because the individual elected is no more; if an MEP or a list AM dies there is no by-election because they were not elected as individuals (even if we voted on the basis of the individuals topping the list). Given the paucity of the turnout and the very small numbers who voted for some candidates I suspect that some cases the vote was so personal that it amounted to just close friends and family.

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  5. Alyn I included Dwyfor Meirionnyddnd and make it 10 seats

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  6. Bill Chapman20/11/2012 15:31

    It turns out that Winston Roddick wasn't an Independent at call but "forgot" to tell us he was a LibDem. See

    http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2012/11/20/new-police-commissioner-says-he-didn-t-try-to-hide-lib-dem-membership-55578-32266040/

    Do you really think he would have had that vote if he had revealed his party affiliation?

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    1. I don't think that Winston's political affiliation was a secret; he has stood as a Lib Dem candidate in a number of elections including some in north Wales and he was quite open about his party membership in his twitter comments throughout the PCC election.

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    2. When questioned about his party membership during North Wales hustings he was deliberately evasive on party membership.

      Why? Because both he and his twittering team know that a candidate claiming to be 'independent' and against 'political interference' in public whilst practising party politics in private has zero credibility with voters. The first and only tweet confirming his party membership was carefully embargoed until the eve of the election on 14 November. You can check for yourself at twitter.com/winston4pcc

      ".. quite open .. throughout" - I don't think so. You can get a more accurate flavour of the meaning of openness and transparency in Winstonspeak at www.independents4PCC.org (broadcast 5 November BBC Radio Wales)

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  7. Bill Chapman23/11/2012 20:57

    Ah, you were in on the secret.I've never seen these twitter comments (if they exist) and I doubt if Winnie uses twitter anyway - although his party machine may have done so.

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  8. Winston Roddick consistently sought to give the impression that he had not been politicially active for 25 years e.g. listen again at www.independents4PCC.org and make up your own mind.

    I don't think anyone was in on the secret in North Wales apart from the politicians in his inner circle (square?!). Even the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats didn't seem to realise the gentleman whose independent virtues she was endorsing on 7 November was a member of her own party (!). Brilliant choreography. But poorly executed.

    How exactly does he propose to make North Wales Police more accountable to the public if he is not even prepared to be publicly accountable about the contents his own CV? Beats me.

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  9. A democratic deficit with elected mayors? I don't think so, Cardiff council has a Labour majority with a minority of the vote. In the recent plan to create a new level of management will be highly paid a number of Labour councilors who were opposed to to this who were whipped into supporting this. Is this not a rubber stamp for a council leader (all the power behind the throne)? That is a democratic deficit, and that is something which is hard to get rid of. I would rather elected mayor of the council leader with a majority. Just look to the 1980s in the U.S. Ronald Reagan had to deal with the democratic Congress while in the UK Margaret Thatcher had a rubber stamp parliament, no opposition all real opposition to her power.

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  10. Bill Chapman01/12/2012 15:17

    Now it turns out that this man who does not know truth from untruth is aiming to treat his electors with further contempt. He says of his hugely-paid PCC role, “It was never advertised as a full-time job.”

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/north-wales-police-commissioner-winston-1466111

    Incidentally, I was at a coffee morning in Llandudno Junction this morning and spoke to two ladies who voted for him because he seemed like a well qualified independent candidate. Well qualified? Perghaps. Independenmt? Certainly new.

    His resignation is long overdue.

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