By David Goodall
This is a critical question as we have no truly independent candidates in Hampshire. Even the independent candidate, is a former Conservative leader of New Forest District Council, is only standing as an independent because Michael Mates beat him in the nomination race for the Conservative Party.
The Liberal Democrats wanted to fill the democratic deficit of a Police Authority, that could set taxes and policy yet be not accountable to anyone, by directly electing the Police Authority, using a single transferable vote (STV) system. This would have reduced the affect of party politics in the main make up of the authority, whilst at the same time filling the democratic deficit. However, that argument did not win the day within the coalition, so we are now contesting Police and Crime Commissioners elections.
The single post of the Police and Crime Commissioner means that one party will have absolute control of the position. This means only one viewpoint. So to counter act this I plan to have a series of advisory panels that will be balanced before in both terms of their equality and political nature. This is the practical step that I will take, in addition to the formal one of the oath of impartiality that all PCCs will be required to swear when they are elected to office.
The swearing of an oath will be an important symbol of impartiality, emphasising both the significance of this new role in local communities and that PCCs are there to serve the people, not a political party or any one section of their electorate. But I believe it is the practical step that is more important - actions speak louder than words.
I am standing as a Liberal Democrat because that label best fits my own political views. I believe when standing for elected office it is best to use a label which is an honest reflection of your outlook, see my speech on this:-