Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Ah, the famous Golden Rule.
It’s a philosophy all of our local council candidates should take with them into Thursday’s all-important election and beyond, and to be fair it’s a mantra they should all have heeded at all times during what seems to have been many, many, many weeks of campaigning.
Thankfully in Fife, I’m pleased to report that the vast majority of the Fife Council-wannabes have behaved with respect and dignity over the last month or so.
I make it sound like some sort of Local Government Big Brother, or Fife House X Factor, but it has been good to see debates and exchanges conducted in a considered and at times conciliatory fashion.
Candidates can agree to disagree, which is what one would expect, but most deserve a lot of credit for the way they have handled themselves.
Sadly, like with any election of this kind, the age-old act of political point-scoring has occasionally turned into mudslinging and perhaps even strayed beyond what some might think acceptable.
However, I’m going to choose to gloss over those instances and instead focus on what has been a well-fought election campaign.
Sticking my neck out, I genuinely can’t see any party getting enough seats to secure an overall majority.
All the polls would suggest that the fight for power in Fife will once more be between Labour and the SNP.
But not for the first time in this Kingdom of ours, it may well come down to who can offer the best deal to the other parties and independents in order to secure the numbers needed to form an administration.
If it does come down to that scenario, that’s where my opening line might become particularly pertinent.
Having covered countless council meetings over the years, it’s clear that politicians don’t have short memories – and aren’t always the most forgiving of souls.
But here’s hoping, whatever the outcome when the dust settles some time on Friday evening, it’s the people of Fife who are put first rather than any narrow-minded party politics.
We’ll be there at the count at the Rothes Halls on Friday, there to see the dying embers of one election campaign finally extinguished before it all sparks back into life again in the run-up to next month’s general election.
Whatever happens, it’s going to be intriguing to see the end of one era and the start of a new chapter for Fife, and see just who gets to set the tone for the next five years.
One word of caution though.
You might find that the councillor you vote for on Thursday ends up standing for election to Westminster. And then might mean subsequent by-elections to replace those leaving for London.
Fingers crossed there are plenty of sharpeners for those stubby pencils. For I fear we might need them.