I went to the Balsall Heath Hustings last night, looking forward to listening to a debate between the candidates so I could decide who to vote for having recently moved to the area. When I got there, I was very disappointed to find that only two candidates had turned up, namely the Respect candidate and the Conservative candidate. Clearly the candidates for the Labour Party, the Lib Dems, the Greens, the BNP and the Independent Community Party had more important things to do. Apparently Mohammed Azim, the Labour party candidate has not been present at the hustings for the last three years!
This leaves me in a bit of a problem. I was not planning on voting for either of the parties who actually turned up. What should I do?
It looks like I have three options:
1) Vote for one of the parties that turned up. At least they care, even if I do not agree with what they stand for
2) Give the candidates who did not turn up the benefit of the doubt and vote based on election literature, or relevant ward, local and/ or national issues?
3) Follow the example of the majority of the candidates, reject my democratic rights and do something more important instead?
I am being serious when I say my vote is up for grabs, so please, whatever your party allegiance, use the comments below to inform me of what you think the important issues are at this election and who I should vote for. All comments will be considered seriously.
For context, the 2007 results were as follows:
Sparkbrook Ward, Birmingham City Council
|Candidate||Party||Number of Votes|
|Shokat Ali||Community Independent Party (UK)|| |
|Charles John Alldrick||The Green Party|| |
|Mohammed Azim||The Labour Party|| |
|Arthur Charles Botterill||British National Party|| |
|Anwar Hussain||The Conservative Party|| |
|Mohammed Ishtiaq||Respect|| |
|Dilawar Khan||Liberal Democrat|| |
|Candidate Elected - Mohammed Ishtiaq|
A review of the husting is available here.