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The Independent voter need no longer be a Floating voter

By       Message Vijayaraghavan Padmanabhan       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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An alternative to the concept of political parties has already emerged. I am giving below important excerpts from the web site of Independent Network set up in the UK:

***The Independent Network (IN) is a non-profit organization that provides support to candidates who are not members of political parties.

Public frustration and disillusionment with career politicians and party politics demonstrates an urgent need for independent candidates elected to public office.

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Members of the public who support non-partisan politics are encouraged to support the efforts of the IN to get more independent politicians elected to public office.

The IN is not a political party and does not impose any political views on supporters or candidates. However, the IN does insist that all affiliates are non-racist and non-discriminatory and have no affiliation with any group or party that embodies beliefs contradictory to these principles.

Supporters and endorsed candidates are asked to agree to the Bell Principles - a code of conduct for elected representatives formulated by Martin Bell OBE and the Independent Network.

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We aim to create a sense of cohesion and identity for Independent candidates. We hope to establish national credibility for its affiliates, enabling the electorate to vote Independent with greater confidence that an Independent vote is a vote for a more representative government at all levels.

Instead of representing a party, independents represent their electorate which means you can trust them to work hard for you.

The Bell Principles are used by the Independent Network to endorse and influence the conduct - but not the policies - of its affiliated candidates.

The endorsement process helps the electorate to know that a group of people have looked at endorsed candidates and judged them to be good quality representatives.

The following are the Bell Principles:

We will -

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  • abide wholeheartedly by the spirit and letter of the Seven Principles of Public Life...: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership
  • be guided by considered evidence, our real world experience and expertise, our constituencies and our consciences
  • be free from the control of any political party, pressure group or whip
  • be non-discriminatory, ethical and committed to pluralism
  • make decisions transparently and openly at every stage and level of the political process, enabling people to see how decisions are made and the evidence on which they are based
  • listen, consulting our communities constantly and innovatively
  • treat political opponents with courtesy and respect, challenging them when we believe they are wrong, and agreeing with them when we believe they are right
  • resist abuses of power and patronage and promote democracy at every level
  • claim expenses, salaries and compensation openly so the public can judge the value for money of our activities. ***

Those who feel that nothing much can be done whoever comes to power, now have reason for feeling optimistic.


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Vijayaraghavan Padmanabhan is 59 years old, Physician by occupation, married and has two children. Former Professor of Medicine, Madras Medical College. Based in Chennai, India. His interests include Spirituality, Politics and Economics.

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