Thursday, February 02, 2006

How to be a councillor...

I had a meeting at the Town Hall this evening (Group Officers meeting - I'm only a member because I'm a Local Party Chair) and, having had a pleasant chat afterwards, decided to attend the meeting for new council candidates, taking place downstairs.

The intention was to have an introduction on the role and responsibilities of councillors, followed by a short briefing on the borough and a Q and A session with the three group leaders. Sadly, the civics lesson was a bit dull (if we want to be councillors, surely we must have some idea why we're doing it?) but the Q and A session was fascinating, watching Nick Stanton (us), Peter John (Labour) and William Rowe (Conservative) answering a series of quite tricky questions and, astonishingly, agreeing on a great deal.

Even more interesting was a quick scan of the room. The age profile was much younger than I had expected, with a majority of those present appearing to be my age or less, not necessarily what one might expect. Perhaps there is some heightened interest in politics and if so, perhaps local government may be about to change...

I also had an unexpected opportunity to talk to one of our Conservative opponents in Village ward, who is a dual national (US/UK) and, curiously, a Democrat. She seems to be remarkably human and happy to talk, something I'm guessing will be 'knocked out of her' before the campaign gets underway in earnest!

2 comments:

Sitara said...

I am not a political animal by any means, but I have a comment to make and a question to ask.
Firstly,I think the age group interested in politics is getting younger because of the influnece of internet - a blog like yours for example ! I read it:)and I am not into politics - don't trust them they lie through their teeth. seen the Indian politics at first hand for many years and talked to some big names in old days.

that brings me to my question - what bearing does the US/UK nationality have on being human - are they not of the same species across the pond? And why and how would the stuffing be knocked out?

Mark Valladares said...

Sitara,

My remark about her seeming human was not linked to her nationality, although I could see how you might think it was. Actually, she seems human for someone who wants to be a local politician - your point about politicians lying through their teeth makes my point in a different way.

Robin, for that is her name, is far more open than most political activists are, especially considering she was talking to me, technically an opponent. More seasoned members of her team will discourage her from doing so, the fear being that she might give away information they would rather not be public knowledge.

Oh yes, one other thing, just to reassure you that I don't dislike Americans. I married one...

Hope that you continue to enjoy the blog and feel free to ask questions...