Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Local Elections

I've just realised that as I'll still be away from home on 3rd May I'll miss the opportunity to vote in the local elections. What a shame. The last time this happened I requested a postal vote as I hate missing an election. But this time I'm not bothering. I wouldn't know who to vote for - they all as bad as each other. Maybe if we had a candidate standing for the Official Monster Raving Loony Party I might be tempted. But it seems to me that however independent people are when they first go into politics they soon 'conform'. Sidmouth's main claim to fame re elections is that Stuart Hughes was voted in many years ago as a Raving Loony member - but nowadays he's Conservative.

"Stuart Hughes's electoral successes
The first Raving Loony to win as a result of a straight vote (as opposed to being elected unopposed) was Stuart Hughes, taking the "safe" Conservative seat of Sidmouth Woolbrook on East Devon District Council in May 1991. He then took a seat on Sidmouth Town Council from the Conservatives the following day. His success was met with fury and quite disproportionate hostility from the local Tories. Hughes' reaction was to attempt to make their lives a misery for the next three years: eg. refusing to pay his Community Charge (also known as the Poll Tax), then dumping scrap metal in the middle of the council chambers to the value of his unpaid tax when threatened with legal action. He also formed an alliance known as "The Coastals" (because of the seats they held) of Independents and the sole Green Party councillor, giving East Devon's ruling Conservatives the first true opposition they had faced for decades (the local Liberal Democrat and Labour Parties being negligible).
Hughes retained his seats with increased majorities in subsequent elections, and the final humiliation for the Conservatives came when he took the Devon County Council seat from the local party's Chief Whip in the council. Hughes remains a member of all three councils to this day although he now does his politicking - ironically - as a Conservative."

For more info on the party see: http://www.jgames.co.uk/title/Official_Monster_Raving_Loony_Party from which the above segment was copied.

The party doesn't seem to have had quite the same impact on elections since the death of its founder.

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