Wednesday, October 15, 2008

20 Questions to a Presidential Candidate - Chandila Fernando

And last, but by no means least - Chandila Fernando. Chandila has demonstrated, like his sister, a professional, fresh and sparky approach to campaigning. He is for sure a rising star in the Lib Dem firmament!

1. What motivated you to get involved in politics and does that still motivate you now?
Its in our family DNA and totally addictive. My headmaster at junior school said " Mrs Fernando your son is physically present but his mind is on your husband's election campaign.."Politics is a way of life and no matter where I go or what I do it will be a part of me.

2. Which political figure, living or dead, do you most admire and why?
Nelson Mandela as he is the embodiment of what a politician should be, ambitious, inspiring, humane and a 21st Century Visionary.

3. If you could introduce a new party policy, what would it be?
"Abolish inheritance tax."

4. If there was a party policy you could overturn, what would it be?Europe, its unclear and mixed.I would simply say :" we believe in Europe and the single currency is an integral part of this. The credit crunch has shown that all markets are interlinked.

5. Have you done the “political compass” exercise and if so where do you sit?
In the centre with a passion for lower taxes, smaller government and greater personal freedom for the individual.

6. What will you bring to the position of President?
A fresh face, new ideas, energy, leadership and enthusiasm with a radical agenda for change :)

7. What will be your priorities if elected?
1.Modernize the image of our party and change the way we communicate and operate
2.Generating activist feedback and responding to it
3. Push forward the idea of registered supporters and transform the rules for party membership

8. What is your view on the marketisation of public services?
Broadly a good idea but the current examples are inconclusive.

9. What is your view on our policy on Trident?
I am against it.

10. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in this country, what would it be?
Crime and Policing, transform the relationship between people and the police.

11. If elected how will you advance the cause of Libdemmery?
I live eat, breathe and dream politics, Libdemmery is the icing on the cake.

12. As a party, despite our values, we still seem to find it impossible to reflect the diversity of the country we seek to represent, how will you redress this?
I could be part of the answer but this needs more radical ideas and less token type gestures .

13. There has been a lot of debate, in the blogosphere and elsewhere, about our narrative. What should it be?!
Politics is about people and their hopes, dreams and concerns so, we as libdems should see ourselves as the voice of reason in the eyes of the voting public.

14. What do you consider the most pressing issue facing the world?Poverty.

15. With a resurgent Tory Party, how would you ensure that as a third party, our voice was heard?
I am totally different in the way I talk and will, I believe in time get noticed for it.

16. If elected, what do you most look forward to about the role?Inspiring people and communicating our message

17. As someone more on the “left” of the party, why should I vote for you?
I have in my heart the passion of an activist and the courage of a lion to take on the establishment.

18. If you were stranded on a desert island, which politician – from another party – would you be happy to be stranded with and why?William Hague, highly intelligent and funny.

19. If you were stranded on a desert island, which politician – from our party – would you be happy to be stranded with and why?!
Jenny Willott, pleasant and engaging. Would be easy to talk to her and listen to what she has to say about life..

20. If elected President what will you do to help elect a second MEP in the East of England? (Or anywhere else actually!!!)
Work hard with candidates but most of all, identify new campaigning techniques !!We must do things differently or we will get the same results or worse !!!!

So that's it. If you haven't already made up your mind I hope our candidates' answers to these questions may have helped. Even though I have made my mind up, I certainly found all their answers interesting and enlightening.


Laurence Boyce said...

Thanks Linda. This exercise has been more useful than all the other stuff I have read. And I really like these answers. I'm voting Chandila!

Linda Jack said...

Thanks for feedback Laurence. I have also found it really interesting, perhaps getting under the skin a bit more of the candidates. I especially liked hearing who they would like to be stranded on a desert island with!

Anonymous said...

Until I read the inheritance tax comments there was a vague possibility I was voting Chandila. Sadly there's not now (we tax all sorts of income, I'd rather cut one that affected a decent proportion of low and middle income earners rather than around 6%). The pres isn't responsibly for policy, but this strikes me as something that goes to his judgment. If his sister (and dad) are anything to go by, I'm sure he'll go far - but not this time.

James Graham (Quaequam Blog!) said...

"I live eat, breathe and dream politics"

Hinterland? Anyone? Sheesh! And people call me a political obsessive.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, I find it disappointing that Chandila thinks we should abolish inheritance tax. It affects a very small minority of very wealthy people. I appreciate that it might seem like a vote winner but ultimately the electorate must be shown that it works against their best interests. If there is a change required in inheritance tax policy it should be to grant a tax-exempt sum to each individual recipient, rather than to tax the total estate. That way an estate which is split between a larger number of people would pay less tax (and thus would encourage a greater distribution of the estate).

Thanks for providing some helpful reading Linda.

John S

Anonymous said...

Fact number 102: He has a cheeky fan called Linda Jack!

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