Friday, May 02, 2008

The Candidate Trap ....... London

Later today we will hear how Mr. P has done in his battle with Messrs L and J. No doubt this will be followed by some picking over the bones of what we could or couldn't have done better. I trust that my elders and betters will learn some lessons.

My initial thoughts are as follows........firstly, can we please start thinking about a candidate for next time now, instead of scrabbling around at the last minute? We do it in target parliamentary seats, why not London? With a prospective candidate in post, a London Spokesperson could spend the next term building support, challenging the incumbent, developing workable and robust policies.

Secondly, can we have a candidate who has a commitment to and an understanding of, our party? Brian was a reasonably good candidate, extremely good on crime, but I was rather disappointed with some of his attitudes, the "I am not a politician" mantra, subtext "politicians are dreadful people". If you are not a politician what are you doing standing for a political position? Also his comment that he "would not toe the party line" er........what's the point of being in a party then, why didn't he stand as an independent? Now that is not to say that there may not be occasions where he disagrees fundamentally with a position and takes a stand, but stating it as a kind of badge of honour demonstrates to me his lack of understanding, as did apparently making up policy on the hoof, particularly policy that would have an impact on areas outside London, without consultation. It was then left to Simon Hughes to hint about second preferences, whilst Brian refused to say. Given the potentially enormous influence second preferences will have, frankly whatever my doubts about another Ken term, a Boris term is truly terrifying! All of this may just be down to his lack of experience and involvement in the party, but as a party should we not take some responsibility for ensuring that our candidates are fully trained, briefed and properly advised?

Thirdly, can we do some thinking about how we ensure the electorate understand voting systems? Given that some 38% of people have said that they would vote for us if they thought their vote would count, there are many who clearly haven't understood that message, otherwise our first preferences would surely be far higher?

Other ideas, or is it just me that thinks we need to learn some lessons here?


thechristophe said...

Vince for Mayor!

Anonymous said...

I agree with your other points, but in a preferential voting system I don't think it's a candidate's or a party's business to tell the voters how they should use their second preference votes.

Anonymous said...

I understand we're getting slaughtered at the GLA count, down to 3 seats with the most pessimistic saying the third is dicey.