ELECTIONS 2009: Independents offer a tantalising prospect both locally and nationally

PUBLISHED: 18:52 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:05 02 June 2010

SOMETHING odd is happening on the political front, and we re not immune from it here in Fenland. That is the emergence of independent candidates for the county council elections, and on a wider scale those independently minded folk hoping for greater thin

SOMETHING odd is happening on the political front, and we're not immune from it here in Fenland.

That is the emergence of independent candidates for the county council elections, and on a wider scale those independently minded folk hoping for greater things in Europe or Westminster.

In Wisbech there's been a spirited intervention by the Libertarian candidate, in Manea the independent district councillor Mark Archer threw his hat into the ring, and then in March, Reg Kemp has proven himself relatively successful with his entry into the political maelstrom.

Of course many of the local independent candidates decided to stand before the heat was turned up on MPs in the wake of the expenses scandal, but there could be a refreshing trend, at all levels of politics.

We would argue this is not before time, since many might see the co-relation between the dominance of the major parties and the decline of public interest in voting.

History may well record 2009 as the year when we began to see things differently and the aspirations of ordinary men and women find voice in aligning themselves to an independent cause.

We are not saying party politics as such have served us badly, but it is a tantalising prospect to envisage elected chambers, both locally and nationally, with a healthy incumbency of independent members.

In the absence of any form of proportional representation locally or at Westminster, the electorate may finally see some advantages in selecting independent candidates.

That's not to decry the work of Malcolm Moss, our out going and thoroughly decent MP, who at least has shown demonstrable signs of independent thinking on some key issues.

But within the council chambers of Cambridgeshire the party whip has become too prevalent, and at times too malevolent, to allow independent activity and for that reason alone we look forward to seeing the results from Thursday's voting.


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