General Election 2010 -- Clearing for Action
30th March 2010 21:00 | by Peter Brett
Now that we've finalised our manifesto and announced our ten PPCs, our election campaign needs to get moving. I'm really pleased at the number of people who've put themselves forward to stand, but the next five weeks will be the test: can they, the candidates, and we, the party, work together to make this election a Pirate Party success story?
Although there are many ways you can help -- not least by standing as a candidate in the upcoming local elections -- but our biggest challenge is going to be to raise the £9000 we need to be able to give our PPCs a fighting chance.
Doubloons for the treasure chest
We've calculated that a realistic minimum amount needed for a candidate to run a campaign is £1500. This will cover the electoral deposit (£500), the cost of printing flyers for complimentary delivery to every household in the constituency by the Royal Mail (£700-£800) and a small amount left over for miscellaneous campaigning costs (for example, a PPUK banner for a canvassing stand at a local market, printed copies of the manifesto, "Vote Bloggs" t-shirts for local supporters, etc).
The situation at the moment is that we have enough money to fund four candidates, but we have ten candidates. We need to raise over nine thousand pounds in the next couple of weeks to be able to give all of them a fighting chance.
This seems like an awful lot. But let's think this through:
- We have approximately 700 party members. If every member donated £10 -- the cost of a pair of cinema tickets -- we'd be most of the way there.
- We have 2,270 fans of the Pirate Party UK page on Facebook. If every fan donated £3 -- the price of a portion of fish & chips -- we'd be most of the way there.
- We have 3,458 followers of the PiratePartyUK on Twitter. If every follower donated £2 -- the price of a pint of ale -- we'd be most of the way there.
- We have 8,649 members of the Pirate Party UK group on Facebook. If every group member donated £1 -- the price of a track on iTunes -- we'd be most of the way there.
It's achievable. All we have to do is be persuasive! Please help us out, either by donating yourself, or by persuading others to.
Standing in local elections
We currently need more members to volunteer to stand for their local councils in the local elections to take place on 6th May -- only one person has stepped forward so far! The requirements to stand are:
- You must have lived or worked in the ward/council for 12 months.
- You must be proposed by 10 electors (i.e. people eligible to vote in the ward/council).
- You must submit your nomination forms and a letter of endorsement from the Pirate Party to your local electoral office by 19 working days before polling day.
This means that, if you're willing to stand for your local council as a Pirate Party UK councillor, you need to submit your application by the 8th April 2010. To give the party's Nominating Officer, John Barron, enough time to get a letter of endorsement out to you, you need to e-mail him ASAP.
The party wiki has more information on standing in the local elections.
Helping the PPCs out
Now we know which constituencies we're targetting, you should be able to tell whether you live within travelling distance of one of them! If you do, and you're willing to help out during the campaigning process -- canvassing, visiting polling stations on election day, handling media contacts, graphic design, or in any other way -- please contact our Volunteers Coordinator, Lewis Sutton, or get in touch with the candidates directly.
Graphic design woes
Now that we have an official manifesto, I'm looking for a design for the next generation of Project Postcard flyers! The original ones came in very handy last week at the protest against the Digital Economy Bill in Westminster last week, but I think we can improve on them, particularly by revising the text to more closely match the contents of the manifesto.
The response to my forum thread so far hasn't been great, which has been disappointing. Please get keen -- it'd be a great way to get involved in Pirate Party campaigning and make a real difference.
There's several other tasks that we really need some graphic design input for:
- We need a design for the flyers to be distributed to households in our PPCs' constituencies. Ideally, the design should be of a "fill in name here, and talk about local issues here" variety, so all ten candidates can use it.
- We'd like to have some posters that people can put up in their windows to show that they support the Pirate Party. If possible, they should look good when printed in black and white -- that way they can be cheaply photocopied!
If you've got any graphic design skills at all -- or even if you don't, and just want some practice -- please get involved!
And the rest...
Some other interesting things have happened!
- A bunch of us went to the Digital Economy Bill protest outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 24th March, armed with a shiny banner, far too many flyers, and a fine selection of friendly smiles. We met lots of interesting people and talked to them about the Pirate Party. Afterwards, we went to the pub, and had a nice chat with Tom Watson, the Labour MP for West Bromwich East, who's been a vocal opponent of the Bill.
- Andrew Tindall was feeling bored, so he made up some fancy-looking A6 flyer designs.
- Our manifesto release had quite a lot of media coverage...
And I'm sure there was lots more, but it momentarily slips my memory. Please refresh it in the comments section!
I'll be away until this time next week -- so until then, keep our ship sailing!
Posted in: Election 2010