The letter from Alan Balfour entirely sums up the reason why I, and I suspect the majority of other members, do not vote in the elections. I have been a member for about 12 years and can only recall one occasion when I knew one of the candidates.
I can see no point in trying to distinguish between different candidates, unknown to myself, based purely on the short published summary, so I abstain from voting. However, I will always vote on important issues such as changes to the constitution, where I have my own opinion.
Perhaps in this new age of communications, it may be more beneficial to publish backup information about the candidates on the internet and a contact e-mail address so that potential voters could question the candidates as to their views on certain topics.
Answers to these questions could be added in the form of 'frequently asked questions' to each candidate's page, to guide later visitors and reduce repeat questions. This ability to publish and answer questions would also benefit the Institution itself by highlighting the true concerns of the membership.
Ken Fowler, ken.Fowler@britishwaterways.co.uk