Is Bude’s town council election a ‘threat to democracy’?

Bude Town Council’s election is being well fought this year, with a large number of candidates standing. It is good to see such interest.

On the whole, it has been a clean campaign, but today on Twitter, two of the candidates, Katie Goode and Martin Dorey, expressed their understandable incredulity at an advertisement which appeared in the local paper from some of the sitting councillors, in a shocking statement suggesting the future democracy of the Council is ‘at risk’.

This is an extraordinary statement from the sitting councillors (none of whom, incidentally has taken up Bude & Beyond’s free offer to run their campaign statement to inform the voting public).

Katie Goode, quite reasonably, asked on social media: Because (them) being automatically selected due to the lack of people standing previously was totally democratic, I’m a threat? Why?

Martin Dorey added: We’re having the first proper election at Bude town council for 20 years and the incumbents – some of whom were co-opted – call it “a threat to democracy”!

Certainly, the council has had a big problem in previous elections with local apathy (some of it caused by poor communication of opportunities to stand for election, for which there is no excuse in these days of social media engagement).

At times, no one stood and people were, indeed, co-opted.

Co-option is a threat to democracy because it perpetuates elites. Appointing unelected representatives is a power trip that undermines local democracy, and the power of the people.

All candidates are most welcome to share their campaign statement on Bude & Beyond, but our ethical standards are that we do not expect outlandish, and frankly wrong, assertions to be made.

Whatever your choice of candidates, please vote in the local elections – democracy means government by the people, ideally through freely contested elections, so those elected are the community’s choice.

Let’s not tar that with erroneous statements.

Part 1 of this website explains co-option in clear terms.

 

 

 

 

 

The nominations are:

Bude Ward

Christine Apiou, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Alexander Bluett, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Simon Browning, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Lorraine Corrigan-Turner, Independent Fighting for Better Services

Paul Crum, Independent

Michael Dawe, Independent

Lea Deely, Bude resident

Jackie Diffey, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Brian Dixon, none stated

Katie Goode, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Steve Haynes, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Viki Herbert-Coulson, none stated

Lesley Moores, none stated

Peter Moores, Independent Caring for Bude

Celli Moriarty, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Tom O’Sullivan, Independent

Frank Partridge, Independent

Heather Partridge, Independent

Philippa Purchase, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Lou Quinton, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Amanda Tame, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Norman Tucker, Independent

Kevin Well, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

 

Hele

Tony Gibbs, Independent for Bude-Stratton

Dan Haylock, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

 

Stratton

Simon Bellamy, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Rose Choules, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Sian Dearing, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Martin Dorey, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Peter La Broy, none stated

Laila Parker, Independent

James Sirmon, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

Paul Tilzey, Retired Schoolteacher and Independent

Robert Uhlig, Bude-Stratton Community Alliance

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