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Nick backs Rother District Council on voter registration push

August 24, 2009

rye observer mastheadDear Editor,

Credit where credit’s due…

Derek Stevens and the Elections Office at Rother District Council should be congratulated for raising the subject of electoral registration in the Observer last week.

I know that the behaviour of many MPs – particularly over their expenses claims – has resulted in large sections of the electorate becoming further alienated from the political process.

But it is crucial, in my view, that people register to vote and have their say on this and other issues.

There are people across the country putting themselves forward to stand as candidates for Parliament that share the horror of what has happened in the Westminster village, and who seek to represent the places where they live and work in a more honest, open, and transparent way.

Such people need their fellow citizens to register for a vote, and to use it.

Particularly if the forthcoming General Election takes place alongside a referendum on electoral reform.

On Saturday night, I started Robert Tressell’s novel, ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’. Early in the book, the protagonist Frank Owen, exhorts his painter and decorator workmates to learn about policy and to use their votes wisely. He even chides them saying that, ‘since you never take the trouble to find our which side is right or wrong you have no right to express an opinion. You are not fit to vote. You should not be allowed to vote.’

My plea to Hastings & Rye residents is to grill us, your parliamentary candidates, over the next weeks and months.

Write, email, phone. Take us to task on the doorstep.

Find out what we believe in and what we stand for.

And then vote on it.

This could be one of the most important and interesting General Elections for a very long time!

Yours truly,

Nick's signature


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One Comment
  1. I too am a Leo, august 11th., but unlike you am rather disorganised. I can’t understand why a person who pays Council Tax can’t automatically continue registration to vote. I find myself, yet again, being chased to fill in forms declaring I reside in an area where I must claim my right to vote. If I don’t, I’m in big trouble, again……. If my payments default, then its fair to question the habitants of a property. If its paid, surely I can decide whether I use the vote or not ? There’s far too much paperwork and wasted tax payers money on printing and postage.

    You cannot force people to vote, merely use the alleged turnout to offer compensation to the political losers on the night/day……..Mad spin..

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