Yesterday I voted for my first and second choices for the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) of South Wales. Police Commissioner was a role I'd only come across before in Batman but apparently we have them in the UK too now! They were introduced in 2012 (when I lived in the US) so this is the first time I've been around to vote for them.
The three candidates who seemed most qualified to me were all old white men, which was a little depressing. That's not to take anything away from them as individuals or their suitability and desire for public service – rather it would be nice to see more diversity in 2021. Two women and one young gay man did add diversity to the overall choice for PCC and made some interesting arguments but the police and crime experience of the old white men was hard to ignore.
The political dimension of it all added a bit of a sour and distracting taste for me. The constabulary are politically independent/neutral and for good reasons – so why were all but one of the candidates for PCC politically aligned? One could argue that voting of any kind is political but I'm not convinced that these roles should have affiliation. They are required to swear an oath of impartiality after taking office – in which case, why present along party lines in the first place?
I also voted for members of the Senedd (previously known as the National Assembly of Wales). The voting was a little complex – you vote twice, once for a local candidate using first past the post, the other time for a regional candidate using the D'Hondt method of proportional representation.
Another interesting twist in these elections was that 16-18 year olds were eligible to vote for the first time.
Let's see how all this voting shakes out. The important thing yesterday was to actually exercise my right to vote and make my voice heard in some way. Speaking of which, I've also started paying attention to and participating in official online petitions to government... but that's a story for another time!
Entry 85 of my participation in the “100 Days to Offload” challenge – find out more and join in!