Just recently there have been articles in the local press where a prospective candidate is seeking for all council election candidates to be fully accountable by signing a pledge that they would stand down if 51% of residents who had voted were dissatisfied with them. Is this a publicity stunt? It appears to be an attack on all councillors in the area when he says Willesden has suffered “absent and unresponsive” councillors. Could agree to being outraged by Lib Dem councillors going AWOL, but totally unfair about others. Being elected four times against strong opposition must indicate effective accountability on my part!
On the face of it, the idea looks promising, but considered in more detail looks somewhat pointless. The Lib Dems proposed something similar for parliament but it was squashed by David Cameron who probably recognised the difficulties in implementation. Other reasons include:
- unenforceable in current electoral law
- there's not been a councillor elected by 51% of the vote let alone one debarred by the same number
- In last two WG elections around 4,500 people voted. Half of registered electorate. 51% would be around 2,300 voters. A lot of people to collect a complaint or petition from
- Labour candidates have already signed a strict code devised by the party. Other parties may have similar.
- Who is to collect and check the complainants - and they would have to be checked for legitimate addresses
- Who pays and who does the monitoring? Party members (risk of bias?). Council officers (limited resources, risk their impartiality)
- Doubt the Lib Dems would sign considering how many have gone missing.