Voting – Stand up and be counted

I am struggling to understand the latest saga in the possible creation of a shared parliamentary boundary with Devon, or otherwise know as Devonwall. This concerns our MP’s. They have all made speeches on how bad this would be, and how it must not be allowed to happen. These are noble sentiments indeed by standing up for the people who are against this. It just all comes crashing down when it comes to voting for it. They all save one vote in favour for the motion. Granted it was all mixed in with a change to the voting system, but it was still in there. One MP did vote for and against, as that is seen as a principled objection. How brave.
So tell me why they did? If you disagree with something then vote against it. Stand up and be counted. So what if you are in the party which is proposing it. Just because they are, does not mean you blindly follow them and vote for it. If they, our MPs had kept quiet, or made no point in how they felt, then maybe, just maybe I might have understood. But to campaign, turn up at rallies and speak against the formation of a shared boundary and then vote for it is just plain wrong.
The topic is not the important part, it could be on anything, but the principle is the same. It is one reason I am an Independent. I can vote for what is best for the people who elect me. No one tells me how or suggest which way to vote. They have tried, but are met with a look that would include the words running, jump, take and a. Even at Cornwall Council block votes happen. No one will ever admit that there is indeed a whip, but it’s pretty hard to discount it when one hand goes up and the rest follow.
People have low opinions of politicians, this just enforces that opinion when a politician says they are against something, but when it comes to voting, they vote in favour.  One of our MPs posts a comment on Twitter about how to campaign against it. Did they really say this with a straight face? Anyway, here is the comment:
“If you haven’t written (to the House of Lords,) write now. If you’ve already written, write again. Don’t leave it to someone else.”
I am sure they will make some excuse as to why they did indeed vote this way. They will as sure as the sun comes up say its not over and there are other chances to stop this, but when it is your chance to stop, or at least make the point you are against something, then for the love of God stand up and vote against it. You may lose, but people will respect you more if you do stand up for what you say.

15 comments

  • Anonymous

    Great piece Andrew…say it as it is

  • info@keepcornwallwhole.org

    Hello Andrew

    If you are unclear about any aspects of what has been, and continues to be, a rapidly developing situation, please don't hesitate to contact info@keepcornwallwhole.org for more information.

  • Anonymous

    Cllr-You are a member of the Indy group on the council,you need to be in that group to get positions on committees etc,clearly if you are happy to take those positions(and the extra pay) then you should do as you are instructed,if you dont like it resign and lose your committe positions but please dont pretend to be something you arent.
    You arent on the committes because of your own brilliance,you are there because you were appointed to fill a space that was available for an Indy cllr,nothing more.

  • Stephen Richardson

    @ anonymous comment #5

    I'm sure Cllr Wallis knows that I think that the idea of an 'independent group' is bizarre at the very least. However, if you are going to make a very personal comment then you should have the decency to identify yourself or stick to making objective points.

  • juderobinson

    Well said Andrew. As a party political person I would only add that no-one from a party can ever make MPs vote against their conscience. It is recognised in my party (Labour) that on constituency issues there should be allowances made and when I went for selection, I made it clear that there may be occasions when I would want to exercise that.

    In the end, there are no sanctions on MPs beyond not being promoted. It is local members who select candidates, not the national party.

    I just wanted to make that point – don't blame this on party politics. Some of us are in it because we believe the aims and values of our party are worth fighting for.

    (Cue abuse?)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you cllr,If you think Cllr Wallis was apointed to any of his positions because of his knowledge or expertise in any of the areas then please tell us,I notice Cllr Wallis makes no such claim.

  • Cllr Andrew Wallis

    Anon, I would say that certain position I do have experience in those roles. Planning and Licensing. I don't think there is a committee I am on that I cannot do, or have been told by my peers, or the electorate that I'm useless at.

    Also, as a Cllr you should know your limitations. I certainly do. I study those areas that I am not sure of. Life is about learning. No one is perfect.

    I do think you miss the point of the post. It is about saying one thing, but doing another. Is that the sort of politics you want? I prefer people to do what they say they will do. Makes life so much simpler.

  • Anonymous

    Nice, I like it. The people will continue to hold low opinions of politicians (rightly) so long as they behave in such a way, effectively renaging on their promises to support those who elected them. Keep on it mate!!

  • Jonathan

    I think you mean "losing a shared boundary" or "cross-boundary constituencies" or maybe even "a constituenciy shared between counties". Parliamentary constituencies sharing a boundary with the county means they *don't* cross boundaries.
    Anyway, isn't the solution just to get an extra 37,000 people on the Cornwall electoral register before December? 🙂

  • cornubian

    "an extra 37,000" Yes simple as that. Just snap your fingers and it'll happen.

    Good article Mr Wallis. The irony of course is that this electoral and constituency reform is about giving credibility back to the political classes.

    No such thing! The referendum on AV and constituency reform are the sops the establishment are willing to throw to us to try perpetuate the status quo.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure why you censor posts asking what experience and specialist knowledge you have in fishing,tourism,education etc or why you arent keen to acknowledge other cllrs and the publics opinion on the parking comm you chaired,perhaps these questions should be asked in the local press ,where more people would read them than on your Blog,mentioning of course your failure to acknowledge the questions on your blog…

  • Cllr Andrew Wallis

    To the last anon. It is not about censorship it about following a few simple rules that I have posted in the disclaimer. As long as comments stick to that I will publish.

    If someone really objects to what I say e-mail me to express those views. If people do feel they want to 'have a go' at what I say then put your name to the post. It is easy to hide behind anon, but the real courage is standing up and putting your name to it.

    This blog is about my views and thoughts. If you don't like them, don't read it. It is that simple.

    As for my role as parking chair, I don't understand what you are saying. I allow all Councillors to comment at the panel. It is the panel that makes the decision, not I as Chairman. As for not listening to the public on this issue that is not true. I am happy to say the area of Parking is the most consulted topic that has been undertaken by the Council. I have insisted on this being the case. I take many phone calls and e-mails on the issue of parking.

  • Cllr Andrew Wallis

    As for experience, I would never undertake a job that I could not do, nor understand. You don't get elected by knowing everything, as that would be impossible. People elect you because they trust you will do the right thing. If you fail in that, then they just wont vote for you again.

    Again if you have a specific question, e-mail me and I will answer it. Of course (anon) you could stand at the next election but I guess it's easier to pick fault, then to try and solve them.

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