Friday, April 13, 2012
If you support Labour and live in Marple, then vote Labour
The leaflet (above left) includes a hideous chart claiming to show a share of the vote in some unsourced, spurious election. In it, there are just three parties - two of which have a share of vote that looks roughly like 45 per cent and 42 per cent. The third, Labour, is portrayed as having what looks like 12.5 per cent. I've had my ruler out, trust me.
What was the election result in this ward last time? 42, 32, 16, with a 4th party, UKIP trailing on 8 per cent. Even if you are generous and claim the graph is attempting to measure the distance between the parties and starts at 8 per cent and upwards, then it is way off. It exaggerates the Conservative support and diminishes Labour. It is based on nothing except appealing to a negative.
There's a blog here by the great Norman Geras relating to a different election altogether. He says this: "in free elections involving more than two candidates there are a number of options other than voting for one of the front-runners. One can abstain; one can spoil one's ballot; why, one can even vote for a third candidate. These are all perfectly well-known and legitimate electoral practices."
So, there are a myriad of reasons why you should vote for any candidate. Supporting the character of that person, their capacity to serve, an endorsement of the programme of that party.
So, my message to any Labour supporters in Marple is this: if you want to support your party then do so. Don't fall for dismal Liberal Democrat desperation.
In elections you should vote for what you believe in. Here's the thing with the Liberal Democrats round here, especially this candidate - I don't think they believe in anything.