Wednesday, June 03, 2009

There's a Kind of Hush All Over the Poll Tonight

I'm writing this sitting on the bus having done a good cardio session delivered a few eve of poll bundles in the tenements facing the Meadows in Edinburgh. My allusion to Herman's Hermits in the title of this blog is that despite being a political anorak, despite having my nose to the ground I, like many others in the political world, am not entirely sure what the vote tomorrow holds for the count on Sunday.

Every political fibre in my body tells me that what I have been campaigning for and what the Lib Dems have stood for in these European Elections was good sound and would have turned peoples heads and votes. However, for the last four weeks, although it feels like four years, the Telegraph has hijacked the political narrative. Don't get me wrong a lot of what came out needed to come out, it is what the Lib Dems have said and voted for many times down the years, but it has blocked out all other messages.

Even on that Nick Clegg and the message we have put forward to make a change is a good one. It is just what Parliament needs and what the people want. Yet the recent polls show that the Telegraph have appeared to have done a job or tarring all parties with the same brush, nobody remembers their saints. Although thankfully the Scots are well aware of the needs for the MPs of Argyll & Bute and Orkney & Shetland. The Telegraph tried to show up when all they are really doing is serving all their constituents. Rather than being a stay away member as some would appear to be from other parties, with first homes here there and everywhere.

So what is going to happen in tomorrows vote, that all depends. Those who are upset may either stay away or vote for change. But if they vote for change simply for the sake of it without asking what that change will be is that really worth it? Could they end up with an MEP or MEP for the next 5 years they may regret. The way some of the people I've met have been talking they haven't weighed up all the things that some of the less established parties bring to the table. In most cases there is a reason that they are not well grounded and what they stand for well known. Either they don't want voters to see their true intent, or people have seen their true intent and decided not to vote for them.

Looking at the polls it is that have said they don't intend to vote that is worrying. Have they said that because they really aren't going to vote? And if they are is this being accurately reflecting the polling companies take on where those votes are lost? Or have they just said 'I'm not voting for any of them' meaning the Westminster parties but are weighing up options? If so do those options include the only party that has said what they intend to do, not merely that we will consult and await Kelly's report, that party being the Liberal Democrats.

At the start of this campaign I was really excited that my party was going to fight an election for Europe on the issues of Europe that affect everyone of us. I was glad that we were standing up for what Europe does well and campaigning to change what needs reform. I'm still glad that we are taking the same stance on Westminster.

However, I am sad that this election is not about what those who are represented are going to do, nor about what they are saying. This election in the minds of many is not even about Europe, something that the Tories and SNP are also talking up because they don't want people to look too closely at just what they are saying and doing about Europe.

I'll still be doing my bit tomorrow. Voting Lib Dem and encouraging others to do so as long as I can manage. But in all my 21 years of being old enough to vote this is the most disheartening campaign, at times in ways, I've been involved in.

1 comment:

Kev said...

I agree with your sentiments. It's a great shame that Europe, its potential, and its imperfections weren't at the heart of the debate.

It looks like the Euro poll will become a referendum on the government, first, then the mainstream parties. Based on feedback in Linlithgow, I think we'll do OK, but we'll find out Sunday. There will be some bizarre results, though.

Enjoy your soak!


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