Thursday, 26 April 2007

Protest votes

As the polling booths prepare to close (and probably will have done so by the time I finish this) I thought it was time to make good on my promise to flag up the Protest Vote Party. They are standing in two wards in the Brighton & Hove City Council elections and promise that if elected they will immediately stand down as a, well, protest against the modern political system. What happens if they do stand down? Well, there will be a by-election, which will apparently be on 14th June. I think it's fair to consider the cost to the public purse of this, especially when one of their main gripes is the waste of public resources. If they win and then stand down and the other parties subsequently submit the same candidates they have promised to stand against that party's leader at the next General Election.

All of this raises some intriguing questions. What happens if they don't stand down? Could it all be a cunning ruse to grab power on the South coast? Is this just a silly stunt, a satire on voter alienation or a convincing protest designed to reengage mainstream political parties with local issues? Only if it really reaches a wide audience can it be said to be the latter otherwise it's just a waste of time. However, it has to be said that some of the behaviour they describe is very poor and has apparently been mirrored in Publawyer's local council. Perhaps a Code of Civility for Councillors is in order. Regardless, I'm all for democratic accountability and if the whole thing does make one or two councillors improve their performance in office then it will have achieved something noteworthy.

My personal favourite of this type of thing is Michael Moore's ficus plant. You could probably also do worse than check out Richard Pryor in 'Brewster's Millions'.

In other news the latest (and probably last) installment in the OK! v Hello! saga was decided yesterday. I'm sure far more qualified commentators than I will have plenty to say about this, but as a self-professed king of the indie boys in his heyday Publawyer was delighted to note the mention of Oasis (twice!) in Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe's speech.

No comments: