Thursday 12 April 2012

Tactical voting for town and community councils

Tactical voting is not something the political parties like very much, at least not officially. And that is for understandable reasons, because it usually involves putting a peg on your nose and voting for someone or something you would rather not vote for, all things being equal.

But community council elections are rather different.

For many of us in Carmarthenshire, voting for our local community or town council will be a new experience or something we have not done for a very long time.

If you live somewhere where there are more candidates than there are seats on the council, there will be an election. If not, there is no need to read on.

Here's how it works.

If there are, say, 10 seats on your local council and 12 candidates are standing, you will be presented with a ballot paper with all 12 names on it. You may select up to 10 names.

Here's where the tactical bit comes in.

Under this system, the more voters restrict their choices to, say, three, four or five names, the more likely those candidates are to win. Or to put it another way, not putting a cross next to a candidate gives a double benefit to those you do favour and select.

For a fuller explanation and feedback from a local resident, you can visit the excellent website here.


Anonymous said...

all i've had through the post box was the poll card, a labour leaflet and a plaid .. i'm pretty well in the dark who the town councillors nominations are. we never do. i don't recall ever having a voting list for the town shoved through the door or actually any candidtes knocking on the door.

labour and plaid county candidates never knocked on the door this time. plaid did in 2008, but they said they will return after the election and discuss the unacceptable occuring problem. then again the labour councillor said the same thing and vowed to return... both failed.

as for the town councillors, they have been taking it for granted for years. i never ever had someone talk to me and i do not recall them canvassing to anybody else too.

i think this is how it works. a polling card is issued. the county councillors post their leaflets (funnily that labour and plaid are basically the same issues). as for the town council, a second ballot is on the day itself, choose from the town council nonimation list. so someone is not going to know who is on the list until they get to the booth.. and it's very doubtful that their manifestos are available on the night as well so it's a bit of a ptluck situation. voting for someone but it is unknown what they believe in)..

Anonymous said...

just been looking at ccc website for candidate lists. plus the uncontested seats.

ammanford is an intersting situation. iscennen, myddynfych and pantyffynnon wards.

for the county council, there are only two contestants, labour's mr jones and plaid's mr harries.

for the community council, mr jones is also contesting mr harries current seat iscennen, also mr harries is defending it.

pantyffynnon is a curios bunch. the previous county councillor was also a ward councillor here.
according to the info, the 2008 county result was very interesting. mr harries was contesting the labour county councillor, and the result was close. very close. 6 votes.
if it had gone the other way at the time and mr harries won, who would have represented pantyffynnon? as mr harries was already in his own iscennen ward. so if he had won the county seat, pantyffynnon would have no rep cos the outgoing labour councillor was rep for both.

anyway, this time round, mr harries is the candidate for both iscennen and ammanford, same for the labour candidate.

without being sceptical, this is obviously tactical. i have no idea what mr jones actually has to do with iscennen. then again, if he was going for the pantyffynnon seat, it would be the same. what has he got to do with it?
saying that, the outgoing councillor has nothing to do with pantyffynnon.

while these two are playing politics, something has been noticed.

pantyffynnon covers quite an area, and the usual candidates share the ward between the 3 of them. 3 candidates sharing one ward. no wonder there is confusion when people do not know who the local councillors are. especially when the carregamman area where one councillor lives represents pantyffynnon too.

what i noticed earlier is that because the labour guy is leaving, who was going to take his place? it was asked last month, nobody knew. the answer is now apparent.
but how come this person was nominated without other people knowing? don't the locals have a say?

and the other curious part of it is, from out of the blue, there is a 4th uncontested councillor. where has he come from? a plaid councillor from ffairfach,llandeilo

what has he got in common with the area? not that i'm complaining.. but it could just have easily been another labour councillor or another party. since when has pantyffynnon had 4 seats rather than the old 3?

moving on from here, myddynfych seems to have a lot of plaid candidates. if they took one out from here, and placed it in pantyffynnon, that could have ousted one of the labour candidates. could there be some tactical voting going on in the town wards?

whatever, pantyffynnon is stuck with the same old same old...neglected.

if two new labour candidates came in and ousted the other two would have been something. but that depends on who they were and what they were like. i would have been happy if they had gone and a breath of fresh air came in. but fate sometimes plays a trick, 'could have two new candidates that are worse than the ones in the first place.

Anonymous said...

who is the new labour candidate who apparently has been voted in uncontested when that person wasn't there previously? same for the plaid guy i suppose. who nominated them? how come this is the first people have heard of it?

the crucial parts are since when has the ward been increased to four seats?

if there are no more than 4 candidates, it automatically goes to them. in other words, someone gets nominated by a party or puts themselves forward by getting 10 people put of 600 on a little piece of paper, and has got nowt to do with democracy or citizens blessing. actually the 10 people could all live in carregamman which geographically has nothing in common with pantyffynnon, so pantyffynnon's fate can be hinfered by something that was occuring a mile away.

as long as that candidate has got the minimum number on his or her petition, that sanctions it.. how come nobody knew who was putting themselves up for selection or was going round a handful of peoples doors? nobody knows. oh well, here's to another 5 years of misery

Anonymous said...

A funny situation has arisen in Llangynnwr. The community council has two wards.Two candidates have decided to put their names forward in both wards. In the east ward there are five seats and five candidates so there will be no election and all five will be returned. In the west ward there are eight seats and nine candidates and there should be an election unless the two candidates who have put their names down twice withdraw as they have been elected unopposed in the east ward. Is this to ensure they have two chances of winning or are they thinking that they might get in unopposed in one of the wards and will not have to face an election?

Anonymous said...

Slightly off message, but I think it is worth raising as you have the theme of transparency that runs through a number of your recent postings.

Some of the candidates may not be particularly well known and if they have no designation or are an independent candidate it is often difficult to decide who to vote for especially if their election literature does not arrive through your door. I am always interested in the people who nominate and second etc. If there is an individual you know or respect and they vouch for the candidate that is something I will consider when deciding to vote for someone. I noticed that on the Carmarthenshire web site there is no information relating to this. All the neighbouring counties carry this information on their websites.

I spoke to one of the candidates in my parish about this and she said that as far as she knew the forms needed to be signed with electoral numbers and then witnessed. She was not aware of any check that the signatures were authentic. This would mean that any one in my ward could have used my name and number and I would be none the wiser as this information is not made easily accessible as in other counties.

Anonymous said...

that's the trouble when people go for two different wards, one of the two will have to pull out if they want to make sense of it or just go along with the vote.

the rabid socialist is in the online edition of southwales guardian. Labour exodus at ammanford. 'not sure who mr howells is though, the name is not on the 2008 election result, that's another mystery.

THE May 3 local elections signal all change on Ammanford town council, where no fewer than six Labour members will not be standing again.

Retiring county councillor Evans will be leading a Red exodus which sees former mayor Judith Evans, deputy mayor Andrew Williams, Lynette Spowart, Terry Howells and veteran Jane Potter all standing down.

Cllr Potter, who describes herself as “a rabid socialist” says her political views were formed during her formative years in Ystradgynlais, in the Swansea Valley.

“My mother was an extreme left winger who was one of those women who chained themselves to the railings at Greenham Common,” she said. “I suppose you could say I inherited her views.

“It’s a big commitment – when you’re town mayor, you become public property,”

Anonymous said...

i am disgusted. i do appreciate a candidate taking some time when out canvassing and posting leaflets through the letter boxes, and making a personal appearance. and i appreciate they have other doors to knock on,

what i do not like at all is a cnadidate turning up and unwilling to discuss their agenda printed on the leaflet.

appalling behaviour.

sorry boys and girls, if you haven't got time to spare to speak to me, i am willing to sacrifice some of my own time to talk about issues when you cannot be arsed to sacrifice some of your own time too????

i tried to ask ask a question on what the candidate very briefy mentioned, and i was going to ask if it is acknowleged that the whole picture is being looked at and not the tiny pieces they are seeing and playing politics with an issue is not acceptable. i wanted to discuss to the candidate why they think carparking is expensive (as from previous posts) and maybe they are playing politics with this issue too and whipping up public opinion to get their vote..

the worse thing is i was in a position to ask a question and the candidate was giving the impression they haven't got the time... so where do we go from here? (anon2)