Leader Stewart Arnold, left, and candidate Mick Bower on the campaign trail
Yorkshire Party’s Mick Bower has been praised for his dramatic stand at a Sheffield hustings that allowed another candidate to speak from the platform of contenders.
Mick, the Party’s candidate for Sheffield Mayor, called Naveen Judah (South Yorkshire Save Our NHS) to join him and other rivals at the hustings called, ironically, by Sheffield for Democracy. He gave up some of his allotted time so Mr Judah could speak at the meeting in Sheffield’s Quaker House.
Mick Tweeted late: “I’ll never attend another Sheffield for Democracy event. Great audience, great questions – but fundamentally undemocratic not to allow Naveen Judah to speak.
“Bear in mind – the excuse for excluding a legitimate candidate was that there wouldn’t be enough time. Yet when the Conservative candidate left, they still ignored the Save Our NHS candidate.”
He denounced Sheffield for Democracy as “elitist”.
The group’s co-ordinator Vicky Seddon told The Star newspaper in Sheffield: “It was our hustings and we made a decision based on the amount of councillors each party has and the amount of people standing in local elections. The English Democrats and South Yorkshire Save Our NHS were no way near the other parties based on that.”
Mr Judah told The Star: “I was thinking to myself after this is a group with a tagline that reads ‘inclusive democracy’ and this wasn’t the case at all. Mick asked me to come up and I was really appreciative about that, but I felt stupid having to squeeze my way past people to sit next to him.”
He later Tweeted: “Thank you Mick Bower, a true gent and a true believer in Democracy unlike this organisation”
Mick’s intervention came in the same week when Party Leader Stewart Arnold called for greater respect in politics, when he recorded his video diary.
Stewart said: ‘Politics these days can get very tribal and that’s why in the Yorkshire Party we try to do things differently. Maybe it’s a Yorkshire thing but showing respect to those who might not agree with us shouldn’t be seen as something so exceptional. So we practice as we preach, as Mick Bower showed. ”
Voting in the Sheffield City Regional Mayoral election may puzzle some voters as it is by a Supplementary Vote system, where candidates have to campaign for a broader base of support.
The Electoral Reform Society explains; “The Supplementary Vote is used for electing Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners in the UK. It part of a broad group of ‘preferential’ voting systems.
“All the votes for favourite candidates are counted and if one candidate gets over than 50% they are elected.
“If no candidate gets over 50%, the top two candidates run-off round and all other candidates are eliminated. The votes of everyone whose favourite candidate has been eliminated are moved to their second favourite.
“Votes from people who had their favourite candidate eliminated and their second favourite candidate is in the run-off, are added to their first-round totals for the two run-off candidates. The candidate with the most votes at this stage is declared the winner.”
Here is the official explanation from the Sheffield City Region.
“If there are three or more candidates you will have the opportunity to choose two candidates – your first choice candidate and your second choice candidate. You do not have to choose a second candidate if you don’t want to.
“On the ballot paper … Column A is for your first choice, and column B is for your second choice.
- Vote for your first choice candidate by putting an ‘X’ in the box next to their name in column A.
- Vote for your second choice candidate by putting an ‘X’ in the box next to their name in column B.
- You must use column A or your vote will not be counted.
- You should not mark more than one cross in the first-choice column and you should not mark more than one cross in the second-choice column.
- For your second choice to be valid it must be different to your first choice.”
Full details about the election are at: https://sheffieldcityregion.org.uk/about-us-governance-policy/about-the-mayoral-election/