Author Topic: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor  (Read 15633 times)

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mjad

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Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« on: May 27, 2006, 10:04:17 AM »
Mavis Childs, Walcot, has left the Labour Group & joined the Conservatives

The new make up of the council is:

Conservative 41
Labour 13
Lib Dem 3
Ind 2

Conservative majority of 23 (from 7 before the elections)



Offline Alligator

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2006, 10:37:07 AM »
Has she given any reasons for this?

I know that this is good news for you MJAD, but councillors 'crossing the floor' is a questionable action.  The people that voted for them didn't necessarily vote just for the person, but for the party they represent.  My comments aren't based on any particular party political views, but more about where democracy fits it to all this.

I know that you've got personal experience of crossing the floor as used used to be my Lib Dem councillor, and the reasons may be justified for the individual, but where does this leave her genuinely labour supporting constituents?.

In this particular case, the timing is also questionable, why didn't she resign her seat before the elections, stand as a tory, thereby forcing an election in her ward when all the others were being contested?  This way the the people of Walcot had a say in which party represents them?  Or is it the case that by 'crossing the floor' she has time to bed down as a tory councillor and then increase her chances of being selected at the next election to represent the tories, ultimately putting her personal position over the preferencs of her constituents?


Offline Tobes

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2006, 11:43:23 AM »
Hmmmm... does the ease with which councillors cross the floor either reflects a lack of conviction? A hunger for power and influence? - or the fact that there's a Rizla paper's difference between the policies of modern labour and the tories?

If this councillor felt that she could no longer support the policies of the national party, why didn't she stand as an independent?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline ZPW

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2006, 12:02:38 PM »
This is a DISGRACE

I vote labour beacause i support labour.
Cllrs get elected because of 2 things. who they are and what party they belong to.
If who they are changes then there is an election. if what oarty they belong to changes the there SHOULD BE AN ELECTION.

This is a complete crock of pooh.
in todays adver, mavis child sounds very confident that she has been elected because of who she is not what party she belongs to.
she's bloody wrong, but if she is so cocksure then she should stand for re.election.

she should be ashamed of herself .


the tory crowing is sounds just like hunting horns.
the only reason this woman has switched perty is beacuse the lab. lot in swindon are so thick and slow not because she has become a tory convert.
justin time tomlinson should watch his smugness, he's not made it out of local politics yet.




Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2006, 02:46:41 PM »


Okey dokey....lets invite Mavis onto Talkswindon for a chat.

mjad

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2006, 06:42:55 PM »
Alligator,

As the chief whip - i hope it's good news!

As you say I have experience of crossing from the floor (I went from Lib Dem to Conservative) - the reasons I gave at the time I stick by - the Lib Dems were not doing anything positive for Swindon & the only party that were are the Conservatives.  I think the voters agreed as the Lib Dems have gone from the opposition party to 3 cllrs in 1 ward.

It's still an interesting & very little known fact in the UK you vote for the person & not for the party - the party name & emblem are very recent (before it use to be a description & anyone could call themselves anything within reason). So people who cross the floor remain elected.

As for the other cllrs who have changed parites (& it's getting a long list since I 1st got elected) I would not dream of speaking for them.

The full list:
- Caroline Martin (C to Lab)
- John Taylor (Lab to Ind)
- Michael Dickinson (LD to C)
- Geraldine Frost (LD to Ind)
- Sinead Darker (Lab to Ind to C)
- David Wren (Lab to Ind to C)
- Andy Harrison (Lad to Ind)
- Mavis Childs (Lab to C)

Tobes - the reason I crossed the floor is I felt more likely to be able to improve Swindon & especially Central ward in the Conservatives rather than the Lib Dems.

ZPW - I assume you were equally discusted with Caroline Martin & called for her resignation!!!!  Or is this as yet another cllr leaves the Labour group!  your posting sounds like sour grapes.  As for Mavis' policies my father was chatting to her during the Walcot by-election (they were telling together) & even then wondered why she was in the Labour party & not the Conservatives.

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2006, 04:21:26 PM »
Okey dokey....lets invite Mavis onto Talkswindon for a chat.

Good idea.

MJAD, can you extend an invite out to her and let us know if she'd be willing?

mjad

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2006, 07:15:53 PM »
Okey dokey....lets invite Mavis onto Talkswindon for a chat.

Good idea.

MJAD, can you extend an invite out to her and let us know if she'd be willing?


her e-mail address is:
mavis284@btinternet.com

as the board admin bod do you want to invite her?

Offline Jess

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2006, 07:45:03 PM »
Well, I've learnt something...
I assumed that a council candidate was party aligned and that was that. If they changed party then there would be a bye election.

But I'm still confused... if a cllr can swop party with no refernce to the electorate then why fly a party flag at all? why bother to swop sides in fact, why not just vote with tthe 'other side'
if as mavis says, she can get more done for her ward with the conservatives, why didn't she just get it done anyway? do labour ward people get different services... i doubt it.

so... i'm confused.


i have sympathy with ZPW, I think many people vote for a prty in local elections.
I know I do.


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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2006, 08:11:58 PM »
An invite has gone out to Mavis.....hopefully we will get a positive response.

mjad

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2006, 10:26:00 AM »
Well, I've learnt something...
I assumed that a council candidate was party aligned and that was that. If they changed party then there would be a bye election.

the only election where we vote for the party & not the person is in the European elections (this time there were no people's names on the ballot paper).  Een here when an mep swaps party they remain an mep

Quote
But I'm still confused... if a cllr can swop party with no refernce to the electorate then why fly a party flag at all? why bother to swop sides in fact, why not just vote with tthe 'other side'

most of the meetings do not happen with all 59cllrs there - usually we only meet 8 times a year, nearly all the work happens in committees & most of them must be politically balanced - i.e. reflect the total number of seats.  The main exemption is the cabinet, which was planned (by central govt.) to be 1 party.

There will need to be a meeting of the Special Committee (which meets to decide such things) (4 Conservatives, 2 Labour & 1 Lib Dem) to agree the new number of seats on each committee.  I assume the Labour group will want to change her seats to get people on the committees who are actaully Labour & there is a chair of an overview committee to discuss.   The chairs of these 4 were allowed to be politically balanced - even though there is no requirement for this - & Mavis was Labour's choice for thier 1.  Suspect this may will be changed as it means now all 4 are Conservative.

Quote
if as mavis says, she can get more done for her ward with the conservatives, why didn't she just get it done anyway? do labour ward people get different services... i doubt it.

so... i'm confused.

She belevied that her voting for the Conservative policies would be better for delivering services to the people of Walcot & thus she is going to vote with us.

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2006, 01:00:12 PM »
MJAD,

Are you telling us that the structure of local govt is one where we vote for an individual and not the party, but that decisions are taken in a committee that must be politically balanced?  Politically balanced how exactly, when we vote for the individual and not the party? 

It strikes me that this structure is designed to keep the main parties in the decision making process and freezes out those minorities, such as independent cllrs.

What place would one independent councillor have on these committees?  and how does this sructure ensure that the people of each ward have an equal representation of ALL decisions, no matter which party/councillor represents them......or do we asume that if you vote for an indy candidate you kiss good bye to your representation?


Offline Tobes

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2006, 03:25:25 PM »
Perhaps this situation links back to the 'its broke' thread... Personally, I'm shocked that people vote purely according to established party allegance when it comes to council elections! Why on Earth aren't we all making more effort to vote according to LOCAL policies - and more importantly, on the capabilities of the local candidates?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2006, 05:39:20 PM »
Well I think this has been enlightening all round!

Personally I'm not shocked by how people decide to vote, many candidates are remote from constituents and it is only their link to a party, and their local party manifesto, that people can use to determine what they may stand for.   After all, these candidates take funding from the party they claim to be a part of in order to campaign effectively, so why is it such a shock to think people may be supporting a party by voting for that candidate?

I think the issue here is what those candidates do with their influence once elected. 

This issue isn't limited to councils, who knows one day our own dear Anne may cross the floor and join the tory party..........probably just before the next election when it finally dawns on her that she's about to lose her job.

Offline Jess

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2006, 08:20:32 PM »
Yes... enlightening.
Illuminating? No.

I still don't get it. If Mavis thought she could do more for her ward members by voting with the Cons., then why didn't she do this. If her party means so little to her that she can just cross the floor, why wouldn't she just vote with an independent mind especially if in doing so she believed she was doing the 'right' thing for her ward emebers.

I think that Tobes is idealistic to hope that people will have the time/energy or inclinantion to get to know their candidates individually before voting. A lot of people I know have to bust a gut to get to vote. If they ( as I ) thought that voting for party's candidate meant that the candidate would broadly conform with that party's ideals I don't think that makes them wrong or in fcat very different from most voters.

To MJAD's point


Quote
  As for Mavis' policies my father was chatting to her during the Walcot by-election (they were telling together) & even then wondered why she was in the Labour party & not the Conservatives.

If Mavis was wondering about her party allegiance at this point then she was surely wavering before the lection. If she had spoken out then surely any broohaha about whether she was elected on a labour ticket ( and I think she was) would evaporate.

Clearly party allegiance does matter when it comes to committee work ( i presume committees are set up proportionally) so it is a bit of a nonsense to think that it doesn't matter to the voters.

I think I'm with ZPW on this one.
I read the Adver article and at least one person quoted ( who I assume voted for Mavis) was a bit annoyed that Mavis has swopped sides.......








Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2006, 09:13:12 AM »
I've been wrestling with this for a couple of days and can't reach an opinion with which I'm comfortable.  :-\

People change their minds.....for whatever reason it happens, and that, (I think), is entirely understandable.

But.....isn't this a bit more serious than a straightforward 'change of mind' ?.

Mjad might advance the 'You're voting for the person, not the party' justification.......he knows, (as well as we do), this isn't how it works in practice......and it certainly isn't something I've ever heard a candidate, or a party, say ever before.

Mavis Childs campaigning under an 'independant' flag probably had little chance of being elected, however, Mavis Childs waving the red flag of Labour obviously was electable.

Same person though......so it doesn't take brain surgery to work out that the difference between the two scenarios is only Mavis's affilliation to a major political party.

....now we're told we're voting for the person who is 'only apparently' representing our 'party' of choice ?. :WTF:

To suggest we are actually voting for the person, not the person and the party they are a member of, and that we should somehow disassociate that person from the political party supporting that candidature, seems completely perverse  ???

....particularly when the candidate is invariably wearing a great big bloody party rosette all the way through the election.....




If Mavis has become disaffected with the Local/National Labour Party, it's policies, and/or her colleagues in the party, wouldn't it be more convincing to those constituents who formerly supported her, and those constituents who might vote for her in the future, if she advanced a properly credible explanation for her defection ?.

Mumblings of 'I can better serve the residents of......' certainly wouldn't cut the the mustard with me & my vote if the councillor or mp I'd voted for ambled across the floor and joined the opposition......

......without offering a decent explanation for their actions.

The Conservatives might welcome Mavis with open arms....but do they trust her not to defect back to Labour if she is successfully re-elected under a Conservative banner ?. Would Labour even want her back ?.

More to the point, will the electorate trust her, or any other councillor who's 'flexible' allegiances are explained away by the 'I can best serve the people of.....' ?.

I think not somehow.

I think Mavis has devalued herself, and perhaps more importantly, she has devalued the process that elected her......

....and we wonder why voters seem apathetic these days ?, councillors and mp's quietly slipping from one party to another leaves voters wondering why they bothered to vote for them in the first place.....
 
'Floor crossers' are 'Ship Jumpers' in my book, and will remain 'Ship Jumpers' until they provide valid reasons for their actions.....when they might then be upgraded to 'Whistle Blower', or 'Genuinely Outraged, but decent sort of person'.

S'funny how our society barely tolerates infidelity.....and punishes incest, yet both traits seem to be positively encouraged, and flourishing, in our politics.

 :popcorn:

mjad

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2006, 12:17:40 PM »
MJAD,

Are you telling us that the structure of local govt is one where we vote for an individual and not the party, but that decisions are taken in a committee that must be politically balanced?

yes - I am not saying if I agree or not, I am only saying what happens

when one gets elected you sign a form A to say which group you want to belong to (& assuming you are accepted by any one of the leader, deputy leader or half the group) you will count as part of that goup

Quote
  Politically balanced how exactly, when we vote for the individual and not the party? 

It strikes me that this structure is designed to keep the main parties in the decision making process and freezes out those minorities, such as independent cllrs.

it is aimed at reflecting the balance of those elected - although at the moment the Lib Dems are over represented with more seats that they are entitled to.

Quote

What place would one independent councillor have on these committees?  and how does this sructure ensure that the people of each ward have an equal representation of ALL decisions, no matter which party/councillor represents them......or do we asume that if you vote for an indy candidate you kiss good bye to your representation?

Ind cllrs are given as many seats as any other cllr - at the moment we have 2 ind. cllrs out of 59.  There are 150 seats on committees which are counted & they get 5 of them - which is in proportion to their number.

you cannot have equal representation for each ward as there are 22 wards = not all of whom have 3 cllrs, some have 2 & some only 1.

mjad

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2006, 12:26:56 PM »
Geoff,

I've been wrestling with this for a couple of days and can't reach an opinion with which I'm comfortable.  :-\

People change their minds.....for whatever reason it happens, and that, (I think), is entirely understandable.

But.....isn't this a bit more serious than a straightforward 'change of mind' ?.

Mjad might advance the 'You're voting for the person, not the party' justification.......he knows, (as well as we do), this isn't how it works in practice......and it certainly isn't something I've ever heard a candidate, or a party, say ever before.

I am not advancing it - just saying that's what happens

The position on the party name & logo is:
Name - this comes from the 6 word description one is allowed, if one wants to use the name of a registered political party as part of your description then you must get the party's designated nominating officer to sign the form to allow it. 
For the Conservatives in Swindon that's me - there is nothing that forces me to sign or not sign a form - but without my signature no one can use the word Conservative in an election in Swindon.  It was purely up to me who gets their form signed - not the local party & I am not appointed by the local party - but 1 person in the national party.

The logo is allowed if a candidate who has a signed form requests it - it must be from the (up to) 3 on the Electoral Commission's web site for that party.  3 are allowed as that allows 1 for England, 1 for Scotland & 1 for Wales.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2006, 12:41:17 PM »

.....sounds like the introduction to a riddle: " When is a Conservative not a Conservative ?"  ;D


As an aside, and not strictly relevant to the topic, could either of the big 2 parties prevent a candidate changing their name by deed poll, and standing as:

Mr Conservative or Mrs Labour ?



Offline Tobes

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Re: Another Labour councillor crosses the floor
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2006, 02:11:15 PM »
Geof - when they're New Labour of course!

Hmmm... I'm playing devils advocate a little here, but I find the concrete party allegances some of you display somewhat interesting...

As I said - for me the issue is less partisan than for the rest of you by the sound of it. Someone crossing the floor from Labour to Conservative has little meaning if the policies of the parties are as close as they appear to be, surely? Those getting upset seem to me at least to be fuelling their ire based on longstanding personal allegances, justified by long past events...  Thatcher was asked a few years back what she felt her best legacy was, she said 'new Labour'. Thats a good summary for the current situation as far as I'm concerned! I'd only be really upset if I could see clear ground between the party I'd voted for and the one someone defected too - and knew that the policies of the new adopted party were incompatible with the manifesto of the old one. Would anyone care to give me a list of key policy differences which should 'outrage' me if I was one of her electorate? That's why I repeat (naively or otherwise!) that surely when it comes to politics, ESPECIALLY local politics, that its the personal values and views of the candidate which should count for more than the transient colour of their rosette.

Couldn't we conclude from the 'its broke' thread that the main diseffecting issue with modern voters is feeling disengaged? Surely its the continual manicling of politicians to party and manifesto policy which has been laregly to blame for this?
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'