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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Use your voice in elections

Democracy is not a faultless process. It’s open to manipulation and requires full involvement to work for the common good.

Our failure to engage is democracy’s enemy. Refusal to vote, through frustration, protest or anger, diminishes the power of democracy to deliver its purpose – that being a duty to represent the will of the majority.

Risk of democratic limitation is looming as elections for new police and crime commissioners approach.

Predictions are that a low poll on November 15 will fail to reflect majority opinion on whether power to set policing objectives, monitor forces, hire and fire chief constables should pass from existing police authorities into the hands of individual commissioners.

Today the News & Star begins a week-long survey – in paper and online – to give you opportunity to voice your views on the changes, the way they have been presented and whether you agree with political competition for the job of policing the police.

Free expression is a basic tenet of democracy. Honestly held opinion isn’t always embraced in party politics but it remains our right and if the democratic process is to work from the bottom up – as it should – we must claim our right.

Have your say. Quiet retreat in anger or disinterest is what opponents of engagement rely on.

Democracy isn’t perfect. But it’s the best we’ve got. Give it a voice.

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Should we have much stiffer penalties for pet owners who don't clean up after their dogs?

Yes, it's disgusting and fines should be increased

No, the penalties are okay as they are - and why don't cat owners get fined too?

Yes but councils should use the money to provide many more bins for owners to put their dog's mess

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