Wednesday, 19 November 2014

CaRT Elections.

I am of the mind that its never to early to plan for the next round of CaRT elections. It also gives sufficient time to learn from the mistakes of the past. There is a need to find four people with a track record of success in their respective field and who are actually truly electable. The previous CaRT Council Elections are now history. But we should also learn a valuable lesson from what went before. A great deal of time and effort will be needed to find and then getting elected four truly non aligned and 'independent' boaters. 

Boaters need someone representing them who is a communicator. After all, how many messages have you had from the last elected candidates. What feedback have you had on issues. Has your opinion been sought by your representatives.

One of the major issues was an imbalance that was evident at the time of the previous election. Which only became something of a concern in the robust post election discussion on various forums. The election favoured anyone who could command the weight of a large organisation to become the preferred candidate in their election machine. This is like the independent non aligned MP who gets steam rolled by the party machine.

It would be best to find suitable fresh faces that come without the 'baggage' created by any such alliances. Being a boat owner might be a 'desirable' trait in the person specification. But what will be needed is people who can bring a more 'essential' skills and knowledge of a broad church of other issues to the table.

Anyone wanting to stand next time should be putting together their own election team. For it will be a team event next time. Drawing upon the skills and knowledge of team members. They should also be building and publishing a personal manifesto and constructing a CV of their own. 

Quite often previous job applicants get advised not to re-apply again. Candidates for various political offices traditionally only get one chance of standing for election. If they are rejected once by the electorate they are already seen as rejects in the mind of the electorate and will continue to be rejected again in the future. So they move constituency and a new electorate. However, when it comes to the Canal and River Trust it will be the same electorate again.

The individuals deserving of our support in the CaRT council elections will need to be of good standing within the wider boating community. They will need to have previous experience in a similar role or bring a broad ranging knowledge of the Inland Waterways. They will need to have a track record in such a role. 

One of the concerns expressed from the previous election is that those who were elected last time have been almost invisible to the electorate. Their continuing allegiance to the Inland Waterways Association has been almost palpable. To elect anyone with a similar allegiance no matter how 'fleeting' would be to commit the same mistake again. For after all, who would these individuals actually represent. All boaters or a select minority.

Basic job description for candidate.

Responsibilities to include:

Representing the whole constituency (waterways) and the constituents (boaters) without fear or favour. Building an effective relationship with the electorate. Being actively accountable. Dealing with individual casework within the wider constituency. Attending CaRT meetings and serving on sub committees. A knowledge of budgets and legislation. A good level of education. Working closely with other elected members. A knowledge of working with charitable, voluntary, community and statutory organisations. Maintain an active presence in the constituency and to be able to respond to constituents’ problems and queries as appropriate. 

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