Another occasional post on being agent for Kate Green
This Monday was in effect the start. Trafford issued their notice of election. If feels as though we’ve been in election mode for a while but Monday was the start.
Do we downplay the civic aspects of an election these days? I have vague memories of the notice going up in the windows of post offices when I was young, but I might be wrong. Nevertheless, the wording of the notice is almost worthy of the an announcement on the steps of the town hall. Instead it’s slipped out onto the council’s website.
The notice is an invitation for candidates to be nominated, and voters to be registered assuming they’re not already on the register. It gives the dates for when these have to take place.
No one wants to leave the nomination until the last day, so for most candidates it really gives two days to have the papers submitted.
There’s two vital forms, the nominations and the consent to nomination. Providing these are in order and submitted on time the candidate is on the ballot paper. There’s authorities from the political party and appointment of agent that we also submit but technically they’re of secondary importance. We elect the candidate, not the party and you don’t actually have to have an agent.
If you have an agent, it’s the agent who goes to jail if the rules are breached rather than the candidate. So most candidates appoint an agent.
The nomination paper is interesting. We used to put in a great deal of effort in inviting community leaders and respected figures across the constituency to sign the nomination papers. It was quite a thing. The names of the persons nominating the candidate definitely were published in those post office windows, so it mattered. These days you’ve got to go looking on the council website to even find the papers. It’s lost its impact. It’s a shame really.
Having said that, the decline in public curiosity as to the persons nominating Kate made it easier for me. I had sufficient nominations signed and verified in one sitting of the Labour Group instead of cycling round the constituency to get the signatures.
Even if it was less of a task I’m still mightily relieved they’re checked and submitted.
So, Kate Green is now Labour Party candidate for Stretford and Urmston!