Hart District Council, where I live (and have for a while served as a Councillor) is a very progressive council. For the last 8 years or so, under both Conservative and Lib Dem administrations the council has operated in a very open, inclusive and consultative way. The leaders of huge 3 main groups have regularly met to discuss issues, and (usually) agree on the best way forward. For 10 months of the year co-operation is the name of the game.
And then we get to April and May. Suddenly people who have worked well together for the rest of the year suddenly have to pretend to hate each other's policies and come with with largely spurious alternatives in order to try to get elected.
There must be a better way.
I am, once again, a candidate in these elections. As always my campaigns will be entirely positive, as I do not agree with any form of negative campaigning. I will talk about what my group has done well, and what our plans are for the future. I will not, in any way, denigrate my opponents. I will, of course, challenge their policies where they clash with ours, but I will always treat the people with the respect that they deserve for putting themselves in the public firing line, regardless of their party.
I hope and pray that every candidate and every party would do the same. Politicians in this country are held in low esteem, and if they are ever to overcome the distrust (and sometimes deserved contempt) of the general public, then the attitudes of candidates and parties everywhere have got to become less confrontational and more cooperative.
I wish all candidates of every party the best in these elections. May the best candidates win, and may they all remember that they are elected to serve their communities to the best of their ability.
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