There are many decent and honest individuals in the Western Isles who would like
to serve their communities by standing for the Comhairle, but do not regard themselves
as "political" and are not members of any party.
Having taken the courageous decision to put their names forward, with limited finances
towards an expensive campaign, limited technical help and (apart from their own families)
limited manpower for delivering leaflets and knocking on doors, they then find themselves
competing for the "independent" vote with other candidates who have lots of money,
technical help and manpower, which they are enjoying through their membership of
a major established party.
In the case of the Comhairle election in 2017, this is the Labour Party which obtained
its lowest vote for 92 years in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election.
Understandably its candidates want to keep their membership of the Labour Party secret,
which is why they call themselves "independent."
It says very little for the credibility of a former UK government minister who supports
a practice which is not only dishonest and cowardly, but profoundly undemocratic.
Isle of Lewis
Letters: Election candidates keeping Labour Party membership “secret”