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Could we have some Big Society leaders?
10:00am Thursday 12th April 2012 in Letters
YOUR Volunteer Voice and Life Lessons features highlight the exceptional way volunteers contribute to the community and it made me think how David Cameron’s praiseworthy concept of the Big Society could be harnessed to unite the nation.
My idea: when a by-election is due, a parliamentary selection committee is formed in the relevant constituency consisting of a group of people who are non-political and have standing in their community.
They would select a candidate who is well-respected for either their campaigning or voluntary work in the community.
The secret for success in this strategy is to find a candidate or cause with universal appeal, especially to women, those under 26 and pensioners.
Persuade the selected candidate to stand for election – possibly the most difficult task, as these are persons who would not normally wish to be in the limelight.
Using modern methods of communication, a clear message is sent out. Channel all votes towards the Big Society candidate and simply boycott all political parties.
In recent times, tactical voting similar to this has been successful on two occasions – at Knutsford with Martin Bell and at Kidderminster with Dr Martin Taylor. Other than these, Independent candidates have met with little or no success and so far never on a serial basis.
However, things are different now. The internet still belongs to the people and has not yet been shackled or diluted by legislation, and the general public is disaffected with politicians of all colours.
If there were three consecutive by-elections where the independent romped home, there would be panic among the political classes, fearful that 635 selfless, dedicated pillars of the community might displace 635 selfish, machiavellian, career-obsessed politicians.
JOHN MACKIE, Hendred House, Cowley, Oxford
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