Should Brian Paddick express his second preference?

There are cries all over the place for Brian Paddick to come out and name his second preference and recommend the way all good thinking Lib Dem voters should vote. In fact, it has been claimed that it our duty and that our London MPs and Brian are failing in that duty if they do not recommend a second preference to us Lib Dem activists, members and voters. After all Sian Berry has done it for Ken and the BNP have come out for Boris.

Ha! Shows how much they know about the Liberal Democrats! The clue is in the name; we are a democratic party we don’t do top down dictates! Blimey, I can just imagine now the barney if one of our MPs came out for Ken or for Boris. It is fair to say that there are those like myself who cannot countenance Boris the Mayor who will therefore hold their nose and vote for Ken. There are those who feel Boris is the more liberal and will go for him (obviously ignoring the fact that his lack of experience will give him precious opportunity to act on any of this perceived liberalism – but frankly that’s their prerogative). And there have been plenty of people who have decided that they cannot bring themselves to vote for either and won’t use their preference; personally I feel that is a bit of a cop out.

For me it is very disappointing that my second preference places me between a rock and a hard place and I am having to go for the least worse rather than a second best; but there you go. But I am not the candidate.

I don’t think Brian should be expressing a second preference precisely because he is the candidate. Apart form the fact (see above) that it wouldn’t work as Liberal Democrats don’t like being told what to do, anti-establishment peeps that we are, it would also blow any hopes that Brian would have of pulling the discussion away from the Ken & Boris show and over to the very sensible things that he and the Lib Dems are saying about what London needs.

Sian Berry made a tactical error when she went into a pact with Ken; she made her and her message an irrelevance. I think the Greens will lose votes not only for the mayoralty but in the London Assembly as well.

This race has been very much one of personalities and being from the third party is a pretty poor place to start. To express a preference would be give up on any chance to make a difference and make the race even more of the two horse race that the media wants it to be.


Alex Wilcock said...
28 Apr 2008, 17:39:00


People aren’t great big blocks of votes for parties to move around from on high, and the fact that Ken things they are is one of the main reasons I dislike his politics. People vote for parties for all sorts of reasons, but for the Liberal Democrats more than any other because they’ve made up their own mind rather than just doing what they’ve always done or doing what they’re told.

That means we have to make our case to voters to get their vote. To get their vote for someone else… We’d have to make the case for that someone else too. It’s difficult enough to get our own message across; it’s insane to expect us to sell other people’s that we don’t even agree with, too. People can make up their own minds, and decide they’ll vote for Brian first because he and the Lib Dems offer maybe 80% of what they want, and hold their nose and vote for another candidate second because they offer maybe 50% of what they want. But that’s for voters to decide, not the political machines – we treat them like grown-ups with their own individual brains, not feudal vassals, and quite right too.

Julian H said...
28 Apr 2008, 17:54:00

Entirely agree. The AV is for each individual voter, not for the candidates to merge into their policy.

I'll be holding my nose (very hard) and voting BoJo second, mind.

Laurence Boyce said...
28 Apr 2008, 20:25:00

I agree that there is no reason on earth why Brian should name his second preference. The trouble is that it is almost bound to come out over time. On one recent debate, Brian said that he was going to use his second pref, but it would not be for either Boris or Ken. Well that can only mean one thing - green - so he has told us really.

It's a minefield, and the PR advocates need to think this one though if we are proposing anything like this across the board.

Jimmy said...
29 Apr 2008, 08:39:00

Brian is clearly concerned with winning the mayoralty, which he has almost no chance of doing. But the question is where will the power lie in City Hall. Assuming Ken gets in he will again have a minority on the GLA and continuing allegations of fraud and corruption in City Hall.

The Greens have lined themselves up for a key role in the next administration, while the Lib Dems will be as irrelevant as the Conservatives for the next 4 years of London politics. Of course if Boris gets in he will only be able to call on the support of the Lib Dems if he wants a stable majority, Labour and Greens will not support him.

Had the Lib Dems formed an anti-Boris alliance with Livingstone (with whom we have less policy differences) then a Lib Dem could be deputy mayor rather than a Green. Lib Dems could work from the inside to clean up the corruption in City Hall and work to make the mayor and his administration more accountable to the GLA.

Given the choice between a candidate backed by the Greens and one backed by the BNP, the correct decision for second choice in the future of London should be clear to all Lib Dems.

Laurence Boyce said...
29 Apr 2008, 12:05:00

Given the choice between a candidate backed by the Greens and one backed by the BNP, the correct decision for second choice in the future of London should be clear to all Lib Dems.

That is complete tosh. Boris neither sought nor welcomes the tacit support of the BNP. And why would you think the Greens are so much better? The BNP hates minorities. But the Green party hates wealth and economic growth for everyone. There's not a lot in it really.

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