What You Can Get Away With » 2010 General Election Diary Day 19: What’s the worst that could happen?

Bad ideas for party election broadcasts, number 1 in a hopefully very infrequent series: Borrowing the concept of Dr. Pepper adverts, we go for ‘vote Liberal Democrat – what’s the worst that could happen?’

I guess we need to wait till the final week for the Daily Mail to do their ‘welcome to Nick Clegg’s Britain’ fantasy to find the answer, but I expect it to be one of the so-bad-it’s-good classics. I’m predicting starring roles for Lembit Opik and Evan Harris as Chancellor and Secretary of State for Destroying Everything Britain Stands For, while Buckingham Palace probably gets closed down and moved to a field outside Brussels to serve as Herman von Rompuy’s holiday home.

So, the first votes of the election have been cast and are now sitting in post boxes, delivery vans and sorting offices waiting to be delivered. I still vote in person, mainly because I live very close to my polling station and thus always seem to be the person who gets volunteered to do the first hour or two of telling there, which means I can normally be the first person to vote there too. There’s something about the experience of going into a polling station and putting my cross on a piece of paper or two that makes me think ‘is that it? Next time I vote, I want to be using a decent electoral system.’

Still, at least I won’t be trying to place a cross on the ballot paper while holding my nose, unlike Polly Toynbee, who’s doing her bit for the environment by recycling ideas from 2005. I have the feeling that if the Government depicted in Torchwood: Children of Earth was a Labour one, Polly Toynbee would still be arguing that they needed to be supported. Yes, they may have wanted to hand over 10% of the country’s children to the 456, but that at least helped to create more vacancies at Sure Start centres. Anyway, James Graham said everything I wanted to say on this without introducing drug-addicted aliens into the argument.

Meanwhile, today’s ‘Really? Wow! Thank God you mentioned that, we’d never have thought of it ourselves’ award goes to Sunny Hundal for this piece of advice to the Liberal Democrats:

Identifying Lib Dem pockets of voters and organising activists to start knocking on doors on polling day to get them out would be another strategy Cowley Street is or should be thinking about.

Yes, fellow Lib Dems, we’re going to have to stop spending our election days sitting on the sofa drinking beer and catching up with all the exciting developments we’ve missed on Doctors during the campaign. Apparently – and I know this will be news to all of you out there – if we had some way of finding out which voters were likely to support us, we could then spend polling day making sure we get them to go out and vote. I’ll be sure to mention this brand new idea to the campaign team at the nest meeting.

For today’s campaigning, we got to pretend to be postmen in a sorting office, taking the large numbers of letters that have been addressed and stuffed over the past few weeks and arranging them ready for delivery. Another of those dull jobs that doesn’t get reported on as part of campaigning, but helps get a lot of people voting.

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2 comments untill now

  1. Don’t know about you Nick, but I’m in the process of organising activists (And training them) to go work in the two non-target wards of my three ward branch. I’m doing it by identifying areas where our likely supporters are going to be, and concentrating specifically on new registrants.

    Because if I want to win the constituency seat, I need to do something more than work my target council ward.

    So he’s right; identify pockets of new support, in areas we don’t normally work. Sure, he’s worded it badly (it’s a Guardian article, what do you expect), but he’s not wrong.

  2. That’s what everyone is doing, but I think you’re reading something into his words that’s not there – to me, it reads like he’s genuinely ignorant of the whole idea of a polling day operation and what it does.