Why are voters so apathetic?
YOUR coverage of the election shows that there were 43 councillors elected on May 3. Of those, 28 were Conservative, eight were Liberal Democrats, five independents and two Labour. We Liberal Democrats did achieve a reasonable number, although according to national statistics we might have hoped for 25 per cent or so of the elected council. Those who prefer local government to be free of party politics have five representatives. What about the other two parties? If you spoke to 43 average Ashfordians in the High Street and asked them if they supported the Conservative Party, would 28 of them say yes? On the other hand, would only two (14 times as few) say that they supported Labour? If not, what is wrong? There was nothing wrong with the organisation of the election by David Hill and his team. So something else must be wrong. Why did the turnout vary from 20 per cent in Stanhope (appalling) to 60.1 per cent (fair) in Weald North, with an average of about 40 per cent? The two main problems seem to be utter apathy and the electoral system. Why are other countries’ populations so involved and enthused in their politics? Does anybody care about this? Stuart Dove, Canterbury Road, Brabourne Lees, Ashford. However, like a latter day Reginald Perrin, with the rise came the inevitable fall. And a subsequent Downing Street departure under far darker clouds than the “whiter than white”’ ones on which he swept to power 10 years ago. While opinions will undoubtedly differ, there can be little argument that his overriding legacy will inexorably be linked to the Middle East and the stains of war which no amount of deluded selfconviction can erase. Though reneging on his pledge to serve a full third term and riding off into what is bound to be a most lucrative global sunset, the sword of Damocles, that is the catastrophe of Iraq, will hang over Tony Blair’s head for as long as it takes to resolve what has become a terrible and damning indictment on his judgement and moral courage. Cllr Michael Claughton (Con), Maidstone Road, Ashford.