Two very different types of election today

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Ballot box

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Today has been day we went to the polls – some of us at any rate – to elect two very different types of politician in two very different ways.

The first was the person who will represent us on Pendle Council for the next 12 months.

He or she will be chosen by a simple, first past the post system. The candidate with the most votes wins. Simple.

On top of that, he or she will be a person who lives locally and is easily contactable by telephone or email to discuss any problems we have.

He or she may even be known to us and live in the next street.

The second, however, could not be more different.

This person will be one of eight chosen to represent the North-West of England in the behemoth otherwise known as the European Parliament.

They will not be chosen by first past the post method, but by some complex form of proportional representation.under which you were not asked to vote for a candidate, merely for a particular party.

Party chiefs will then determine who goes on to represent us in Brussels and Strasbourg, with those at the top of a pre-selected, non-elected list having the best chances.

It is likely you will never have heard of most of them before, and it is equally likely you will never hear from them if they are elected.

But despite all that, habit has dictated Mr Pendle cast his vote in both elections.

It is just a pity many people will not have chosen to.