Myself on behalf of The Community Action Party campaigned for a directly-elected mayor in the city of Salford. Our party was in Alliance with another political party to achieve a yes vote. Even though our party was not at the forefront of our television screens on this matter, we did put in the greatest contribution out of the two parties. We achieved a yes vote something I will be extremely proud of for the rest of my life. It was hard work but hopefully the city of Salford will reap the benefits for this remarkable change.
So now we have a directly-elected mayor what now for the future in our city ? What happens next etc ?
Firstly, our city will now be governed by a directly-elected mayor who will appoint his/her own cabinet. This system of local government will stay with us for at least ten years. The cities directly-elected mayor will be elected by the people of the whole city through a supplementary vote system. This is different to our normal first past the post system.
A supplementary vote system means we all get two votes. We can pick our first choice as mayor and our second choice. This year the election will take place on the 3rd May 2012. In counting the ballots a winner is only declared once a candidate has reached 50% of the votes cast through 1st or 2nd choices. However, the 2nd choices are only included when the lowest first choice candidate drops out to count their second choices, add these 2nd choices to the remaining candidates and this keeps repeating itself until a candidate has secured 50% of the votes cast.
Therefore, it is possible that the candidate that got the most first choices does not win the election because they could not achieve 50% of the votes cast through first or 2nd choices. However, the point of this electoral system is that the winner achieves over half of the votes cast to give them electoral credibility where in the past our MP can win her seat on less than half of the votes cast.
Hence, when I campaigned for the system explaining any directly-elected mayor would have to represent the whole city, as failure to do so would result in them being voted out. Outer townships in our city, SWinton, Eccles, Worlsey, Irlam, Cadishead and others make up a significant percentage of the city and no longer will parts our city be neglected at the expense of others as demonstrated in recent times.
Its a system I believe in, as reported in my previous blogs, hence my reason for campaigning for a YES vote, our city will reap the benefits and nomatter what happens I can say I made a significant contribution to it.