Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Traditional Methods Work for Lib Dems

Last week's Town Council by-election resulted in a resounding victory for the Liberal Democrat candidate, Richard Effeny.  Congratulations to Richard and the ever-efficient Lib Dem election machine.  

Unfortunately Richard was the only candidate I could not contact when I had the idea of inviting the candidates to introduce themselves on this blog.  In fact when I contacted the Lib Dem constituency office, I was told that they did not have contact details for their own candidate and I would have to go through the leader, Cllr Keith House.

Keith declined the invitation, stating that the Lib Dems would rely on "traditional methods" of campaigning.  It is hard to criticise that decision, given the result of the by-election.  I do hope, though, that in future Hedge End elections the Lib Dems and other candidates will consider participating in online campaigning alongside the traditional methods of loads of paper leaflets and knocking on people's doors during The One Show.

I'd like to thank Paul Redding, Ray Turner and Michale O'Donoghue for taking the time to respond and take part.  There was a time when election candidates were willing to submit themselves to hustings where they met their prospective voters face to face and answered their questions in person.  Online question and answer sessions are a modernisation of that tradition.

There is at least one e-lector out there who appreciated the effort.  Perhaps we have started something.

(Photo credit: Hedge End Town Council)


  1. That's no candidate.
    It's just puppet.
    I can see the strings from here.

  2. Yes Keith, the Lib Dems won the seat convincingly.

    But lets not forget that only one in six of the electorate voted for the Lib Dems. The other five didn't.

    Less than 25% of the electorate bothered to vote in this election.

    There's clearly a problem with turnout.

    Perhaps the traditional methods and campaign practices are also a turn-off for many voters, contributing to the low turn-out.

    I know that if I was knocked-up whilst watching something interesting on the TV, I'd be inclined to say "stuff the lot of them" and not vote at all...

    1. Ahhh...hankering after the TV already eh?

  3. I say, bring back the hustings! (err not like the TV hustings we had at the General election). If candidates don't engage with the voters, if they're not allowed to knock on doors or speak at meetings, how can they represent voters? I'm assuming that candidates want to represent voters first and not their party bosses.

  4. It's a great shame that Keith couldn't see the value of a different approach to encouraging more people to vote, even though the result may support his decision this time. It's also a bit surprising given there are Lib Dems elsewhere in the country setting a much better example with tools like twitter, weblogs, etc.

    I do hope the other candidates don't give up on exploring new ways to campaign- I'm looking forward to the next election I can vote in more than usual.

  5. The falling turn-out is caused by the PERCEPTION that it makes no difference who you vote for. This political apathy has accelerated since 1973 when we became absorbed into a United States of Europe. Both Labour and Conservative still advocate our ignominious satellite status under the EU. Now roughly 75% of ALL law passed in England comes DIRECTLY from Brussels and is merely rubber stamped by our ELECTED government. We cannot change our real (UNELECTED) government (in Brussels). Its policies remain the same. Hence the perception that it makes no difference who you vote for. Nothing changes. Nothing ever can as long as we remain in the EU. Voter turn-out will continue to fall.