And we’re off. If you believe the Electoral Reform Society, the Orkney and Shetland seat now up for grabs in the general election is one of 36 in Scotland that falls into the category of foregone conclusion. Such gloomy certainty is probably not unreasonable – we do indeed require a new electoral system – but we should at least make the five candidates who have so far thrown their hats into the ring work hard for their votes.
To that end, The Shetland Times is happy to exploit the ease of communication in this internet age and ask questions on you, our readers’ behalf of the men (why no women?) who believe they can best serve your interests in the next House of Commons.
Whether it be concerns over the Scottish government’s plan to alter the sailings of the NorthLink ferries, the high cost of fuel in the islands, the governments’ (Westminster and Holyrood) desire to expand the renewable energy sector – any issue at all – feel free to email your questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, giving your name and address and specifying which candidate(s) you would like us to submit them to. Of course, we cannot guarantee that they will all be answered, but lack of response can be an answer in itself. We shall publish the answers in forthcoming editions.
Much of the focus of the national campaign will be on the three televised leaders’ debates; but the fulcrum of democracy is the local constituency contest. This is when we the electors get a meaningful say. Good luck to the five candidates (and to any others who should join the race); we look forward to a fair and feisty battle.