It appears that some in government circles are starting to feel a little disappointed that most of the names emerging for the elections to the new posts of Police Commissioners are past or present party politicians. Apparently, they had really hoped to see some strong independent characters coming forward, rather than simply having a traditional party battle.
I can understand that hope – after all, possible politicisation of the police is one of the main planks of opposition to their proposals. But I cannot understand why they might have thought for a moment that there would ever be a significant number of non-aligned candidates.
Elections are the business of parties; parties are structured and organised precisely for that purpose. They are also funded for that purpose. And the areas covered by police forces are large, much larger than the average constituency; the chances of a one-person band ever communicating effectively with a significant proportion of the population are slim.
Why would anyone think that there would be many independent candidates who would be able to organise an election campaign over such a large area on anything like the same basis as a political party? And how would they fund it – unless they are significantly wealthy in the first place? I cannot imagine how anyone involved in politics could ever have expected the elections not to be dominated by party political candidates.