Wondering who to vote for today? #EP2014

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKOnly about a third of people normally vote in European and Council elections. If you are one of the two thirds who hasn’t made their way to the polling station yet, please read on. This stuff actually matters.

Your MEPs and Councillors make decisions that affect your daily life, be it mobile phone charges on your holiday, potentially your job if it’s funded by European money, or the care your parents receive or the quality of your local parks.

Clearly I’d love it if you voted Liberal Democrat for your benefit as much as mine as a party member. Here are some reasons why:

Liberal Democrat Councillors have big hearts, they listen to their constituents and they will always put people first

From my article the other week:

Our councillors are embedded in their communities. They know what’s going on, they keep themselves in touch with what people are thinking and they  listen to what’s said to them. Our Members of Parliament are under-resourced in terms of staff, but councillors have nobody beyond some clerical support. They do their casework diligently and work eye-watering hours to go the extra mile for people. When they see injustice, they will fight hard for people, leaving no stone unturned. People know who they are and feel comfortable about approaching them with their problems.  Try walking the length of a street in their ward with a Liberal Democrat councillor and see how long it takes you as they are stopped by people who want to ask them things, bring their problems, or offer thanks for a job well done.

If you have been impressed by a Liberal Democrat councillor, don’t just think that they’re bound to get in because they’re good. You need to make it happen.

And what about the MEPs?

Do you want an MEP who will basically stick two fingers up at the EU and not engage with it? The thing about those sorts of people is that they don’t work hard for their areas. A good MEP can secure European funding for the area and help attract businesses and therefore jobs to their constituency. What’s better, a wrecker or a worker? Here are just some of the qualities our lot have:

 George Lyon, in Scotland, for example has the skills required to get 27 nations to work together to cut the EU budget by £30 billion.  He’s also spent the last 5 years standing up for Scotland’s farmers. As a farmer himself, he understands exactly what the issues are. Sarah Ludford’s work on crime prevention, civil liberties and LGBT rights, Catherine Bearder on the environment and action against trafficking, Edward McMillan-Scott on human rights and campaigning against the farcical and expensive monthly trek to Strasbourg are all worth keeping. If this is how East Midlands MEP Bill Newton Dunn spends his day of rest, heaven knows how much  he achieves when the Parliament is sitting? Chris Davies and Andrew Duff both won MEP of the Year awards for their work on fishing and social media respectively. Phil Bennion won an award from the Clear Air campaign and he’s campaigned to protect people with autism from bullying and discrimination. Look at the feedback Graham Watson has had when he’s helped people. His site, actually, is one of the best at giving an insight to what MEPs do.

And look at this post to see that you don’t need to take my word for it or at my first play with Buzzfeed or watch this video:

 If good people don’t vote, those parties who spread fear and hatred and suspicion will win. You need to make the choice between people who will serve their communities and constituencies well or wreckers who just want to stick two fingers up at a few scapegoated groups of people. Not voting will only help the wreckers. Polling stations are open between 7 am and 10 pm and you don’t need your polling card to vote. Not all postal ballots have been returned – if you never got round to sending yours off, don’t worry about it. Just take it to any polling station in your constituency. You really could make the difference. It really is worthwhile. 

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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14 Comments

  • Eddie Sammon 22nd May '14 - 12:39pm

    Thanks Caron. There seems to be a lot of negativity on here today, but election day is what politicos live for! I’m practically marching some people to the polling station later. Every little helps. Yes to Europe and Yes to reform.

  • No, I wasn’t wondering who to vote for today, I made up my mind a long time ago.

    Putting my cross against UKIP felt so good I can’t begin to tell you. It felt like an exercise in real democracy, of the people taking back control of their lives from the elites who have failed us, think they know best, and look down on us.

    If you want to feel that way and take back our country, do as I did.

    Vote UKIP!

  • I split the ticket today. Voted for the Lib Dems in the Euro’s and pray that we keep our MEP’s. And in the Locals voted for Labour as i live in a ward that UKIP could capture so did my but to keep them out.

  • Simon: Perhaps in time you will return to the real world…what possible actions will take place to answer the problems perceived by the general public…in voting for a one man sideshow.

  • Richard Dean 22nd May '14 - 3:48pm

    Simon’s answer is a poem about alienation. It tells so much. Its key loaded words will be recognized by any competent sociologist, including

    > made up my mind a long time ago
    > felt
    > taking back control
    > elites
    > look down
    > us
    > our country

    The tragedy is that little of what simon believes in terms of UKIPs promises or explanations or the future is true. The alienated have been well and truly conned.

  • Charles Rothwell 22nd May '14 - 5:42pm

    Simon: As you obviously get a certain buzz from hanging around this site and constantly slagging off a party for which you have absolutely no respect, sympathy or affinity, I thought I would return the sentiments in terms of the ramshackle bunch of which you are obviously such a proud standard bearer.

    You’re living in a dream world (like most Kippers). Your movement has got NO answers at all to any of the major problems facing the UK today and are a one-man (why is Nuttall NEVER allowed to appear on prime-time TV?)/one-trick movement of disenchanted and embittered people which will implode under their own contradictions at some stage within the coming year. What the results of today’s elections are really likely to prove are not the beginning of some kind of ‘Peasants’ Revolt’ against the “political class” (such as privately educated, ex-stock brokers with their foreign wives and bilingual kids who have not done a thing for the last 20 years apart from devote themselves to politics and live off the taxpayer), but rather the complete alienation and disenchantment of millions of voters who have lost faith in the democratic process in general. This is the real ‘message’.

    “For all the alienated folk who are clinging to the wreckage of Ukip, the majority simply can’t be arsed. This has been the political reality for a long time, and one that we remain in absolute denial about. Apathy does not explain the anger and ennui that existed across Europe long before Russell Brand had his big revolutionary idea of not voting. He gave voice to the pre-existing disconnect and is now making a bizarre series of YouTube clips featuring truth-tellers with exceedingly odd notions of the truth.

    Meanwhile, Farage is hoovering up support from people who feel that no one speaks for them. He has used the media so effectively, precisely because, instead of seeing him as an insurgent, they understand both his message and his method to be traditional. He is absolutely part of the establishment, a character who does not want to change the system but to shrink it into a manageable enterprise.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/21/never-mind-ukip-electorate-anger-alienated (“Guardian”) (Reading that will get me on the list for execution by the Southport Kipper candidate alone, I am sure! http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/news/southport-news/southport-ukip-candidate-apologies-over-7153602)

  • I can’t understand why a member of the Isolationists is allowed to taunt, insult and belittle party members on here. It’s a bit like a fan from another local rival football team coming on my team’s forum to insult and demean our supporters. By all means let Lib Dem members vent their spleen with the direction of travel of the party but please don’t give the far right carte blanche to spout their racist populist rhetoric.

  • Richard Dean 22nd May '14 - 7:31pm

    @david – perhaps the clue is in the word “liberal” ? Anyway, it’s educational, it can help LibDems understand how to argue against UKIP (a thing that LibDems are very bad at), and it can even sometimes be funny. So, why suppress?

  • What’s so funny about taunting members of another party. I find it bullying and some of the comments I’ve read have been offensive and hardly respectful of other posters on the site. There’s free speech but this doesn’t give an individual the right to abuse it which is what this poster often does; I wouldn’t dream of going on their isolationist site and taunting them about their policies what’s liberal about that.

  • Richard Dean 22nd May '14 - 8:07pm

    @david.

    I don’t find simon particularly offensive, or even overly disrespectful, and I guess that’s the conclusion of the moderators too. Do we not disrespect UKIP by calling them “isolationists”?

    Wasn’t there some law recently debated here and in the HP in which LibDems argued that it should not be illegal for a person to insult someone? Section 2.1(a) looks very draconian even so! http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/12/section/2

  • @david
    I have read the comment by simon above and do not see what you find so offensive in it. LDV is a place for debate. If you want to debate without other parties, surely there is the option of going to the members-only section.
    Personally I think it is a strength for people to have a place where they can try to persuade people like simon.

  • The take back our country is the sort of slogan the BNP were using on one of their elections communications and I find it highly distasteful obviously orange bookers with their libertarian far right views don’t. There were comments I read on other threads which were offensive in their language and bullying, I wasn’t referring to this particular thread and stick by my views that the comments are designed to taunt party members. I’d be interested to know how you would persuade an isolationists party voter who has already made up his mind and voted for that party so you are defeating the object.

  • simon is annoying, his views are uninformed, his attitude is offensive and his party is the most troubling development in British politics since Oswald Mosley.

    But should we get rid of him? No. We can’t beat the populist right by adopting their weapons to silence opposition, and the act of shutting ourselves off from even hostile criticism is self defeating.

    We’re going to take enough of a drubbing at the hands of the voters, without adding to our woes like that. We need to acknowledge the upheaval that UKIP are causing, while challenging their narrative. They’re not invincible, and I know we can tell a better story than them, as well as deliver a better society.

    Part of our story is the idea that speech is free and debate is healthy. That is not something that Farage and his mates understand, what with their police threats and intimidation against critics.

  • @david
    Well LDV is moderated (which is a good thing). Any bullying comments should be removed by a moderator.
    I am something of a Eurosceptic myself, but I could not bring myself to vote UKIP because of the racism present in that party and because Farage does not strike me as particularly likely to be able to address whatever problems he sees

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