The campaign has been up and running now for a week and I'm still to hear from any of the candidates, their supporters or, for that matter, anyone else, asking me how I'm going to vote and whether I'll campaign for them amongst our members (Dulwich and West Norwood has about 0.2% of the Party's national membership).
Surely it must get more interesting, mustn't it? Or perhaps not. I've been disappointed in selection contest after selection contest that the amount of personal contact has been negligible and have to admit that if this is an indication of the desire to win amongst the candidates, perhaps an abstention is the way to go. I accept that this is a bit of a cop-out but perhaps it sends a message to anyone who wants my support. If you can't be bothered, or aren't organised enough, or can't persuade supporters to campaign on your behalf, are you really capable of leading the Party and winning elections? I'm hoping that at least one of our "Fantastic Four" can prove this cynical soul wrong but, until then, I'm keeping my counsel on how I'll vote.
Having said that, if anyone from Mark Oaten's team is thinking of calling me, you'd better be a bit more persuasive than your candidate is...
I think one reason is that a lot of serious Party activists ( i.e. the people that would be making the calls )are still undecided as to who to back. We are all waiting for the calls but none of us are making them !
One interesting development is that the historic ex-SDP elite 'block support' that has remarkably survived to date seems to have finally fragmented. It held together 100% when Charles beat Simon et al in 1999.
I mentioned this to a non party member interested in politics and they were stunned by my statement ' Should'nt the SDP thing be put to bed - its nearly 20 years ago '. He is so right and it is good to see that the ex-SDP 'endorsers' seem to be split 3 ways between Ming, Mark and Chris. I've yet to see an ex-SDP heavyweight back Simon but you never know..
The Candidates are permitted access to membership lists. So their ability to contact you directly will be hit and miss
There is a rather interesting problem here - with the data protection act and internal party protocols. The campaign teams (I believe) do not have access to membership lists so contacting you outside offical mailings from Cowley Street might be problematic. Same goes for local supporters - membership secretaries cannot hand out lists for them. I actually think this is a proceedural problem we need to tackle in the one member one vote structure...
We're working on it Mark, but as the last candidate (Chris Huhne) to declare, we had to run to catch up administratively.
But catching up we are - see Chris Huhne's web site. If you would like to register at that web site, you'll hear a lot more from us - but equally, I'd hope that you will hear more in the next week anyway.
Tim - for www.chris2win.org
I am sure you would have been contacted by now ... had the candidates been allowed access to membership lists!
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