Sunday, November 11, 2007

LibDem MEP Candidate: "I have done absolutely nothing"

I have to say that the subject of LibDem MEP selections isn't exactly what sets my hearts racing of a Sunday evening. But I might as well share the agonies with you. Norfolk Blogger tells us HERE that he didn't even get to vote (could it be because he is a Eurosceptic that they didn't send him ballot papers? Surely not). Cowley Street blog says the same. Well, nothing odd in that. All parties are notoriously crap at sending out ballot papers. In the Conservatives your chances of receving multiple ballot papers are better than receiving none at all!

However, Justin Hinchliffe has emailed to alert me to the Number 2 candidate on the Eastern Region list, one Linda Jack. Linda, you may remember, appeared on the World at One calling for Ming to resign several weeks before it became fashionable. But it appears that she was rather a reluctant candidate. Neil Woollcott, a LibDem blogger wrote a week ago...
The first thing I noticed about the list was the fact that there was only one woman candidate, Linda Jack. Now party rules means that at least one man and one woman must be placed amongst the top three of the list. So by the virtual of being the only woman on the list Linda Jack will appear in the top three. A Lib Dem member is therefore forced only to give Linda Jack a 1st or 2nd preference of their vote to ensure Linda Jack is to put her higher in the top three and give her a greater chance of being elected. Anything lower will be a wasted vote as Linda would leap frog any other candidates who gained more votes than her to take third place.

Linda, never backward in coming forward, left this comment on Neil's blogpost...

Dear Neil, I promised to get back to you after the ballot closed and answer your questions. I was asked to stand because they were "short of women candidates" what I failed to understand at the time was that "short" meant none! When I went for my conversion interview I was asked why I wanted to be an MEP - to which my response was, because the region were short of women and I wanted to be helpful. In truth, I am appalled that I ended up as the only woman. I was not prepared for a contest, having already promised my support to other candidates. If I get to be number 2 it will be a miracle given that I have done absolutely nothing. If I get to be number 3 (there is still the possibility I will be disqualified) I will do my best to promote our party and our policies in the East to push for a second seat. I frankly hate the fact that in the 21st century we still live in a world where equality remains an elusive dream. I don't like the fact that we still have to find a methodology to ensure we have at least a semblence of equality. But, also I would argue, If we want to represent we have to be representative. What we see is inevitably what we get. If we do what we have always done, we will get what we have always got. I don't like it, I wish it wasn't so, but, it is preferable to being totally unrepresentative. I will return to this subject (!)

I bet she will. Now if the LibDems were doing well there's a fair chance that Linda Jack could actually get elected as an MEP. I trust the electorate will be reminded of her passion for the job!

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually no, Iain - that isn't what the Cowley Street Blogger post you've linked to says. S/he doesn't say they didn't recive a ballot paper. I guess accuracy isn't your strong point tonight :-)

Anonymous said...

Drat. Lost a sentence there - I guess editing isn't my strong point this evening :-) What I'd said is saying you can't recall voting is a rather different matter - there's all sorts of reasons why that might be the case.

pxcentric said...

Dale, you hate the Lib Dems because they thrashed you at the last general election.

Now grow up and get over it.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Iain, Mark Pack chose not to comment on Linda Jack's comment - I wonder why?

Apart from her admitting to not doing anything (to become a candidate) she said, " I frankly hate the fact that in the 21st century we still live in a world where equality remains an elusive dream" - presumably this is a dig at the Lib Dems' failure to promote women in their party?

And I think it's safe to say that the guy on the Cowley Street blog didn't receive a ballot paper...

Laurence Boyce said...

Hey Iain, don’t mess with Linda; she’s been in the military. I feel sure that when the time comes, Linda will manage to generate more passion over Europe than your average Conservative.

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Anonymous said...

Ian, Linda has been open about their Female candidate selection failings. Her action will lead to improvements because of the embarrassment. It is unusual for a Lib Dem to be so honest and should be encouraged not discouraged.

The real scandal has been with their female candidate support which for long periods chose not to fund ONE support person and instead funded 40+ campaign people including Mark Pack. The illiberal Lib Dems put by elections ahead of Female support.

It has been the same on non-white candidates. The funding finally came from the Rowntree charity and Ming put in charge of it the LD chap who was head of the internal disunity in Islington.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm talking of enthusiasm for the Job, where's Boris? See Shakespeare, is on Conhome moaning about the fact that Boris has gorn missing. Ah! if only Boris showed as much ooooomph for being mayor as he does for s****ing he'd be a shooo in!

Perhaps you'd like to comment on the 'Blonde Ones' non-campaign Iain.

Ken go back to sleep, nothing to bother you there.

Mark Valladares said...

Iain,

As the Returning Officer for South East, I've just declared two women as numbers 1 and 2 for the Regional list, and given that we hold two seats currently, I would have reason to be confident that they'll both get elected in 2009.

Nich's post is somewhat ill-conceived (he has mistaken cause and effect), and the circumstances somewhat unusual in his Region. Given the system we use to select our candidates (all member postal ballot), incumbents (who should have been spending the time since the last election raising their profile both within the Party and within their Region generally) have a massive advantage. Combine that with the likelihood that the number of Liberal Democrat MEPs elected next time is unlikely to increase significantly - the loss of seats to make room for Bulgaria and Romania is a factor - and attracting candidates of any type is difficult. Many people are unwilling to spend four months campaigning across a large Region to get selected at number 6 on a Regional list where only seven MEPs will get elected. Funny, that.

Linda will be Linda, and many of us wouldn't have it any other way. Ironically, she did somewhat better than she had expected, possibly because of her notoriety, helped and assisted by people like you. So, if she does get elected, maybe she should send you a thank you card...

Newmania said...

Oh Jesus , hat tipping Justin is like " Putting out the fire ...WITH GASOLINE "


Look forward to an ego conflagration.

Anon..Ken has been asleep since he fell into a charmed slumber whilst talking sixth form cartoon leftyness in a common room in the 70s ( During his two weeks of gainful employment).I see no sign of his having experienced the last forty years during which his beliefs have become a joke ,not least to the Labour Party

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant quote from Mark Valladres - the senior Lib Dem in charge of running the Lib Dems' Euro selections:

"...the number of Liberal Democrat MEPs elected next time is unlikely to increase significantly..."

So he's more or less saying a Lib Dem vote is a wasted vote! Will be using it my leaflets. Thanks, Mark!

Anonymous said...

If she doesn't want the job, she the one for me. I'd rather her than all those creeps who do

Chris Paul said...

When she says she has done "absolutely nothing" she surely means that she hasn't been out canvassing for high votes in the priority/ranking ballot. They should put her first! That way the incumbent will have to work their balls off to get back and the region will have a Mrs Pritchard in the EP. In multi-seat elections e.g. all outs I have seen the electorate pick the local Lib Dem party's third choice as their favourite. The one who is not so ambitious and careerist. More like them.

Laurence Boyce said...

There’s something weird going on with this blog. Why are random links to Iain’s books being inserted into comments without the comment author’s permission? This is the real scandal we should be talking about!

Michael Shilliday said...

Of course if GB used a proper PR system for Euro elections like Northern Ireland, the electorate would have a real choice of Lim Dem MEPs.

Anonymous said...

dsltsqWhy does it matter how many women are selected? Why does it matter? Why does it matter? Why?

The Lib Dems are going to look as Blairesque as David Cameron and his A Lists and his all-women lists and all-dwarf lists. Whatever happened to democracy where those who wanted to stand pushed themselves forward with great commitment.

Paul Walter said...

"Whatever happened to democracy where those who wanted to stand pushed themselves forward with great commitment."

Ah yes, Linda Jack, the great shrinking violet!

Windsor Tripehound said...

Liberal Democrat does nothing shock horror!!

Sounds a bit like their leadership campaign; all the impact of cotton wool

Mark Valladares said...

Justin,

Bless you for your kindness. I'm a Regional Returning Officer, that's all. Although my blog is rated rather more highly than yours... :-), and why does my old friend Susanne keep calling you Justine?

You'll find that neither the Conservatives or Labour are likely to gain many seats next time either, so you might want to hold your fire. It would also appear that you don't understand the system used to elect MEPs either, whereby the number of MEPs elected in a Region broadly reflects the votes cast for each Party therein. Thus a vote for Liberal Democrats means that you'll get more Liberal Democrats (good, eh?).

Of course, given your electoral success in Tottenham recently, you might not want to highlight a 'wasted vote' style campaign...

Anonymous said...

"what sets my hearts racing".

plural? Always wondered if you were secretly Doctor Who.

PS that Rose was well fit

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