Nik Butler: Chance for Horsham to send a message: the party is over

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A local joke goes; you could stick a blue rosette on a hatstand and it would get elected in Horsham.

There is at least one Conservative councillor who would admit this to be their reason for joining the party.

Clear evidence that apathy and the party system is damaging democracy. I would hope those days are in decline. Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum the question is; should we continue to fill that void with replacement party representation?

I am told that parties make things easier, I am told that parties make things better for the community, and that our current democratic system could not function without those parties.

Interestingly those who hold this view are themselves involved in a party. I too took time to be involved in a couple of those local parties and they left me disappointed.

The current example of back room meetings, in which to discuss an individual behind their backs, is school ground behaviour worthy of children, not statesmen.

Possibly in a time before ubiquitous communication, and information sharing, parties served a purpose.

Possibly when membership and involvement was large enough to dilute the otherwise selfish interests of voting members they were controlled and representative.

Now they appear to be nothing more than private members clubs providing a clique to those who bully their own opinions into actions.

When council meetings are controlled and directed in private consultation, and directed not in community consideration but an individual’s control, then credence is given to those who will not vote; because the choices are poor and the candidates are controlled.

Returning to a previous point if the only reason to join the party is to get elected is this because only those who care about the parties are willing to vote?

The recent actions of the Conservative party are in my view shameful; no doubt other parties will jump on the commitment that they will be the party of free speech and representation.

Yet as we have seen this lasts only as long as the party is not dependent on the investment of those involved.

Horsham as an electorate must look closely at each candidate and ask if that candidate’s views will be to represent the community or to promote a committee.

As we count down the months to the 2015 elections there is a chance for Horsham to send a message.

The party is over.