On Thursday May 6th you can vote on the future direction of the city you live in – so please make sure you get out there and cast your vote if you have not already used your postal vote!
Now more than ever it is vital that all voices are heard in the first election since we were hit with the global pandemic. It is also the first election since Brexit and comes at a time where age-old problems are being made all the more acute by Covid – a continuing housing crisis, a climate emergency, struggling businesses, record unemployment and knife crime that has spiralled out of control.
Polling stations will be sanitised and socially distanced, and the council is asking that everyone wears their masks and bring their own pens. You don’t need to bring a polling card or anything else; so from 7am until 10pm today, Thursday 6th, make sure your voice is heard and cast your vote.
We always appeal to our readers to make the effort to take part in the democratic process, as everyone is affected by politics – and with the London Mayoral and GLA elections, your vote is arguably even more effective.
With the first-past-the-post system in general elections, your vote, while still important, is only for a Parliamentary constituency, and if enough of those are totted up by one party, they become the government. So your actual voting impact is fairly oblique – not to mention that you’re voting for a party, rather than a person.
You can put your cross next to the mayoral candidate whom you think will best lead the capital forward for the next four years, along with your second favourite. Simply put, if enough people vote for a candidate, they become the next Mayor – so your vote, and every vote, counts.
You’ll also be voting for your GLA member, as well as for the party that controls the GLA, and again it’s important that you vote for this representative. The Mayor of London is given huge powers by the electorate – so it makes sense that as they’re voted in, you’re also deciding who will scrutinise their decisions and hold them to account. They can also petition the Mayor on behalf of your GLA constituency – in our case Southwark &?Lambeth.
Of course, if you’re unaffected by the city’s housing crisis, if traffic congestion and pollution doesn’t impact on your daily life, if crime in your area doesn’t concern you, or the make-up of your local high street doesn’t interest you – along with one hundred other issues – then you’re probably right not to cast your vote. Chances are though, that there isn’t a Londoner among us who won’t be affected one way or the other by the new Mayor we vote in.
We posed the same five questions on housing, crime, environment, transport and the economy, to ensure that you can see in a balanced way where each candidate stands on these key issues.
Here are the answers on: