Thursday, 29 April 2010

Gloves. Are. Off.

Well, at least they should be.

I'm more than a little interested in Politics. Actually, I'm more interested in the idea of Politics. I think it was doing Modern Studies at school that gave me that reflective look - rather than being an active campaigner.

If we're brutally honest, there's much in life that we like the idea of more than the actual thing itself. A clean and tidy garden. Spending time with lots of people, all the time. Owning a pet.

Okay, so those are *bad* examples. What have you liked the idea of more than the reality of?

So, having voted in every election since I've had the right to do so, this time I've actually spoken with a candidate for my constituency. Just the one, mind. I'd asked Lis Bardell how she was going to let the people of the area get to know her. "by being on the street and saying 'hello'". Great, but you can't be everywhere, and it's not something that other people can join in with.

How about taking the conversation online? Nope. Can't do it. Don't know how. Risk of failure. People can say things that aren't what you'd like them to say.

Guess what - this is the new world order.

I'm not talking about Tweeting, or checking in on Foursquare. I'm talking about being present and interacting where your constituents interact. There 76,000 people in the constituency eligible to vote, from the numbers I could find online, there might be as many as 20% of these in the 18-35 age range. That's a heap of people who you'll find online. But lest we forget that the silver surfers, so that's another 20%. Oh, and there's just under 30% between 35 and 60.

So, dear candidates. Get yourselves online, connect with people and you might reach another 70% of the voting public that matter to you. At least the ones you say that matter to you.

Still, in all this, I've found out from Wikipedia the names of our candidates are... now to see if I can find out *who* they are!


Charles Dundas said...

Dear Weir,

Your comments are definitely taken on board. I promise that I will get myself online for campaigning purposes. The only irony is that I am so busy between now and Thursday that I won't be able to set up a website until after the election (I need to brush up my skills from 1998 HTML to some 2004 Javascript too)

Anyway, feel free to e-mail me on with anything which you might want to know more about before Thursday. Also, you are welcome to follow my tweets @cdundas although they are not exclusively political.

Kindest regards,
Charles Dundas
Scottish Liberal Democrats

Charles Dundas said...

Sorry Alex, for some reason I wrote your surname in the last comment. Apologies.

Anonymous said...

Lis has a website -, with contact details, and a campaign facebook 'Lis Bardell as Livingston's Next MP' if you would like to contact her that way.

Perhaps not a huge amount of interaction, but a way for people to get to know her and contact her if they like.

John said...

Andy, great post. Nice to see a reply from a candidate here. I have found all the parties online presence to be pretty thin. The lib dems appear to be the most switched on but still haven't truely embraced this form of communication, at least at this local level. All parties still appear to prefer flooding my letterbox with page after paper page. The lib dems being by far the worst offender. They are obviously keen to get their message across and appear to have quite a budget for this type of thing, at least in my area. Although a much smaller design budget apparently.

theWeir said...

@Charles - thanks for reading and leaving a comment. Glad you are monitoring the online channels to see what's being said!

Remember that anyone can set up a blog in *minutes* using platforms like Wordpress, Blogger and Posterous. And you really don't need any programming skills for that. Trust me.

@Anonymous - thanks for pointing me to Lis' site. The Facebook page is here if anyone wants to see it: I find it a bit disheartening that both these sites seem to (in the main) reshape the same content - it's great to get the general biog, but we don't get to know what Lis is thinking about the issues, unless we ask them.

More on that in my earlier post (

@John - thanks for your comment. You seem to be at the wrong end of the Lib Dem promotional machine (maybe @cdundas can help with that ;->)

theWeir said...

... oh yeah, @Charles, it's Andy, not Alex (I think he's Lis Bardell's boss!