Thursday, April 12, 2012

Unequal time

Caught the end last night of a report on BBC London of a hustings meeting for the mayoral election organised by the London Evening Standard. As we've already stated, we are not interested in this election (we don't agree with the office of City Boss and there's no socialist standing anyway) but only 4 of the 7 candidates were on the platform.

One of the principles of democracy is that all candidates should have equal time to put over their point of view, but this is not happening in this particular election. Three candidates (UKIP, BNP and an Independent) were being excluded, and will be excluded from another planned hustings organised by a commercial TV station, despite the fact that they have overcome the considerable obstacles in the way of standing (raising a deposit of £10,000 and get 30 signatories in each borough or 330 in all).

No doubt they are being excluded because having 7 candidates would not have the same entertainment value, but elections are not supposed to be entertainment. Clearly, this election is not being run on fully democratic lines. They do things differently in France. There are 10 candidates standing in the first round of the presidential election on 22 April. Each of them are getting TV and radio broadcasts of exactly the same length.

Meanwhile back in Lambeth & Southwark we've received an invitation to a third hustings -- from Lambeth Cyclists on Tuesday 24 April. Not sure what we can say to them though, but it shows that, at constituency level, this election is being conducted more democratically.

No comments: