rancidpunk wrote:Then I would like to know why the PP is in any way relevant to regional elections for bodies that have no bearing on our aims.
Two things quickly come to mind:
1) Campaigns help us raise awareness in the party. Brand familiarity is good.
2) Getting someone elected will give us credibility. It will also get us a lot of publicity.
John, I think you're right to ask the question so people are clear about why we fight any election we fight. However, I think there are very strong arguments for PPUK to fight elections at every level. The key argument goes as follows:
- It's kind of tempting to be optimistic and think volunteer organizations come together and work because lots of volunteers are really keen etc, but life doesn't seem to be like that
- If you look at the local parties for the Lib Dems, Tories, Labour, Greens etc, the rule seems to be that if you want a strong local volunteer org, the best bet is to have somebody in full-time or part-time responsibility being a political champion and focus point for their effort e.g. somebody on the council
- That local champion acts a catalyst for recruiting more volunteers and building local campaign capability
- Building local presence does not happen overnight, but over a period of many years
- The importance of local campaign presence (as opposed to national campaigning) seems to have become steadily greater over recent decades. Parties are winning MPs in locations where they first build up a strong council team. By the same token, defeat at council level seems to preface the ultimate demise of the party's MP. Evidence from the general election: significantly weaker swing to the Tories in Scotland where Tories have much lower presence in other tiers of government; Lib Dem votes only reliable at returning MPs in regional strongholds like Cornwall; Greens winning first MP in Brighton where had established strong council presence over long time. There even appears to be a cycle emerging: when the Tories were in government, they lost more and more council seats to Labour, and those became footholds for Labour's victory in the General Election, but as soon as Labour were in national government, the tide went the other way, allowing the Tories to steadily build up grassroots campaign ability whilst Labour MPs increasingly found themselves lacking local campaign support as their local parties got weaker and weaker.