Even now Home Secretary Theresa May insists that commissioners have a mandate to act as the "voice of the people" no matter how many of them have taken part in the elections.
When the overall turnout is just 18.5 per cent, it is axiomatic that many areas have an even lower figure, with the Bettws polling station in Newport not registering a single vote for the Gwent police crime commissioner.
So less than a fifth of the electorate has felt enthused enough to go to the local polling station to give some superannuated politician or self-opinionated "independent" a £100,000-a-year cushy number with power to control police budgets, set policing priorities and back or sack chief constables - and that constitutes a mandate?
Trade union leaders Bob Crow and Mark Serwotka have drawn attention to Tory Party hypocrisy over the question of voter turnout.
It would be a foolhardy trade union leadership that called a strike on the basis of such figures, but it's not an issue for the Tories when they're imposing a policy that lacks public backing.
Tory backwoodsmen will see no contradiction in accepting these derisory turnouts as representing the "voice of the people" while continuing to demand a prohibitive minimum participation in trade union ballots for industrial action.
We should not be surprised. It's simply the Tories seeking further legal restrictions on the organisations most capable of mobilising public opinion against the government's anti-people policies.
Low turnouts in trade union elections are largely the government's fault since it insists on postal voting only, rejecting secure, independently verified online, phone and workplace polling.
Cameron's insistence on bringing in commissioners can be understood from his comment that they will demonstrate their worth by showing that they are "holding the police to account, they are getting things done for local people, they are prioritising the law and order crackdown that the people want to see."
This conjures up images of a John Wayne-style sheriff shooting from the lip and ordering the chief constable to act in line with the commissioner's knee-jerk prejudices rather than take measured professional responses to crime as a result of discussions with the police authority.
It is a manifestation of the corporate-style chief executive approach to public service exemplified by the switch in local democracy from a committee system to an all-powerful mayor.
So, full marks to the people of Hartlepool who have voted to reverse that process and return power to elected local councillors.
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