Alan has confirmed it here. There are 33 candidates for the four boater places on the C&RT council, which means that Nick, with his guess of 29 wins the Great Chertsey C&RT sweepstake. (I would just like to point out that I came a very close second, with 38, so not bad guesswork). Step forward Nick, whoever and claim your prize. Er, a ride in the parade at Braunston, perhaps? (if you have a day to spare and a strong bladder).
Alan makes an interesting point about the nominated candidates of the IWA etc (and to a lesser extent HNBOC) not declaring their allegiance in their statement. It might be too much to ask that they waste even a few of their precious 150 words on this, but does it mean that they will have an unfair advantage through picking up individual votes on their own merits on top of the block votes of the unthinking membership of the organisation backing them? No more so I wouldn't have thought than if they did declare their allegiance.
I agree with Alan that boaters' representatives should be representing ALL voters, at least between them even if each individual cannot embody all boaters' different needs. Hopefully once elected they will do so, just as an MP's duty is to represent all the people in their constituency, and not just the ones who voted for them. The IWA, RBOA, and HNBOC have promoted candidates, but these are organisations largely formed of boaters. Different boaters may find that their interests are in conflict with one anothers', but on the whole they have more in common than divides them.
On the other hand, people like anglers, for example, often have interest that are in direct conflict with those of boaters, and this frequently emerges in antipathy between the groups. Some anglers are also boaters though, and thus eligible to stand in the election, but could conceievably act as a Trojan horse for anti-boater interests. I'm not saying this has happened or will happen, but I would consider it a greater threat to boater representation than the election of organisation-backed boaters. However, there is a big downside to the current situation, and that is that the muscle of the IWA, however virtuous their candidates might be (and I haven't investigated them), will lead to really excellent candidates like Alan Fincher and Sue Cawson being overlooked, and that is a very great shame.
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