View Full Version : Voter apathy?

16-Apr-03, 11:51
Will there be voter apathy in Caithness in the local council elections on May 1st?

For perhaps half the people of Caithness, the answer is a resounding "no".

Why? Because they won't get a chance to be apathetic -- they have no-one to vote for!

From last week's Groat:

Five Caithness council wards to be contested
CAITHNESS doesn't appear to be suffering from municipal apathy with half of the ten wards scheduled to be contested in the forthcoming Highland Council elections.

Hmm... what a strange article. I would have most likely come to the opposite conclusion. Five of the ten Caithness seats are uncontested, and, of the three that are contested, only two have more than two candidates, with 3 folk standing in each seat. Overall, this is not exactly a great advertisement for local democracy...

This seems slightly surprising. One often sees complaints about both Caithness and non-Caithness politicians on this site. These are usually along the lines of "Our/Inverness/Edinburgh/London politicians don't listen to (or care about) us up here". Given that very few folk are willing to stand for the council, perhaps this isn't surprising....

I can think of lots of reasons for this "municipal apathy", many of them entirely honourable, but what do Caithness residents think?

For the Groat article, see: http://www.caithness-courier.co.uk/news.asp?storyvar=3395

And for the list of candidates, see: http://www.caithness.org/fpb/election2003/councilcandidates.htm

Finally, before anyone gets upset, I am being deliberately contentious. I know that (at least) two of our regular correspondents are standing for election, and I wish them the best of luck on May 1st.

16-Apr-03, 14:58

Isnt it a feeling that as a councillor you end up being
dammed if you do and dammed if you dont?

Do we really value our people who offer their time and in some cases their whole lives to trying to improve the lot of the people who live in their locality?

I think not. A thankless task I think.

Being a local councillor is an admirable thing and it is vitally important to stimulate the interest of local people in local politics. Unfortunately local politics isnt that interesting for many.

Good luck to those who are standing - You have my thanks.

16-Apr-03, 16:25
Correct thankless, but very valuable task. Also strange that all the "debate" over thewar in Iraq - to provide the people frredom and democracy and many of us who have these rights cannot get off our backsides to exercise our democratic right!

George Brims
16-Apr-03, 19:22
It has always been this way in Caithness. Councillors retiring used to figure out who would be a likely replacement, approach that person to see if they fancied doing it, and they would then stand in place of the incumbent, usually unopposed. I know my uncle Douglas represented Watten on the old Caithness council, and for many years on Caithness District Council, and as far as I can remember he never received a single vote! I could be wrong on that, but certainly he was unopposed when he first started out.

16-Apr-03, 19:48
Aye, but also nobody voted against him George :D