.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Accentuating the positive?

Whilst we are on the subject of constructive political debate, Bethan Jenkins, highlights the latest poster campaign from Plaid Cymru. The message is simple - 'fed up with Labour, then vote them out'.

Somehow this translates on her blog as a 'positive change of direction'. Given that the poster has nothing positive to say whatsoever in terms of policy or direction, I have a great deal of difficulty accepting that premise. Bethan also legitimately claims that Labour are falling back onto 'fear factor politics'. A neutral observer may notice that this is something close to what Plaid are doing with this poster.

Far from showing that Plaid 'have a hugely successful election campaign this year- more professional than ever before', this poster just demonstrates that they have more money than before. If they want to turn it into a successful campaign then they need to use that cash to start telling people what they stand for.
Wales deserves better than Plaid.
Plaid is already benched. So what good would kicking New Labour into touch do for Plaid? Thanks to a lack of those “little grey cells” Plaid are unable to come up with any serious policy statements as demonstrated by their embarrassing promise to give laptops to 11 year olds. Just what were they thinking? Hang on; the leadership is devoid of high level thinking skills as demonstrated by the leadership’s reliance on gimmicky posters and embarrassing promises to 11 year olds. The bench is too good a place for Plaid – Plaid should be ejected from the stadium.
A quick glance through your own blog shows that in the last week, you have made 5 posts about the Labour party, 3 each about Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, one about People's Voice...and disappointingly little about the Liberal Democrats.

Pot, kettle, black.
Except that this blog is not the official Welsh Liberal Democrat campaign, it is my own personal musings on politics etc. The Welsh Liberal Democrat campaign will be much more positive and focus on our policies and strengths. Where we criticise other parties, then like this blog, we will not rely on empty slogans but will set out our case rationally.
Have you got any distinctive policies?
Don't be coy Dr.Wood, what's the alternative?
Actually Hedd, yes we do. As you can see for yourself by looking at the Welsh Liberal Democrat website or reading our manifesto when it is published.
Criticising your opponents and saying you are the alternative is all part of the process. We have run plenty of positive stuff over the last few months.

What is annoying the lIb dems is that we are setting the media agenda. As peter says his blogg just reflects the media which is all Labour/Plaid at the moment.
Actually, I dont think Plaid are setting the media agenda at all. In my honest opinion Plaid have been entirely unconvincing so far although it is a bit of a false war at the moment.
Plaid – the party with less brain than a mollusk.
Welsh Labour is carrying so much luggage that Plaid should be shunting Labour aside. But Plaid is lumbered with a leadership that goes for gimmicks. The voters of Wales will not be persuaded by gimmicks. The alternative to a party that thinks (i.e., the old Plaid Cymru) is the present pathetic Plaid, the party with a leadership that is so devoid of brain power it relies on gimmickry.
It really isn't a very good poster. Almost every kick to touch is kicked from the hand. Only goal kicks and conversions are taken as a place kick. Not very well researched or professional!
Go on then Doctor tell us what we should be saying instead
All of this anti Plaid stuff is about who will win the second seat on the South West Wales list. Lib Dems need another 7000 odd votes to overtake Plaid. A tall order given that the Lib Dem vote fell between 1999 and 2003. As it stands it looks as if Jackie Radford will continue to be the silent member for Coity on Bridgend council until 2008.
How you run your campaign Mark is up to you. It is not for me to assist you with pointers.

Actually Anonymous if you check the figures you will find that the Welsh Liberal Democrat vote in South Wales West went up between 1999 and 2003. In 2005 we secured enough votes across the region to have won the second list seat. If we were to duplicate that vote in May then Jackie Radford would be an Assembly Member. Certainly on the basis of the 2005 result the contest for the fourth list seat in South Wales West is between the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Tories. PLaid would be out of it.
It is true that your percentage share of the vote went up from 11.1% to a massive 12.7% but your actual vote went down as can be seen from the following figures.
1999 Lab 70625;Plaid 50,757;Tories 20,993; Lib Dems 18,527. 2003 Lab 58066;Plaid 24799;Tories 20981: Lib Dem 17746. This time it will be even harder for you because you run the councils in Swansea and Bridgend. The other issue of course is how to you explain to all those voters who obviously wanted Labour list candidates that their votes were wasted because of the undemocratic voting system.
Glyn should realise that it was windy on the day that Plaid were playing the Labour party! In those circumstances it is essential to place the ball before kicking to touch.With Helen Mary at the front of the line and Rhodri Glyn in the middle Plaid are confident of getting the ball back. The only problem is what will Ieuan Wyn do with it when he gets it?
er...dont want to burst your bubble anonymous but under D'hondt it is the percentage vote that counts not the total. You will notice that all the party's votes went down, that was because turnout went down as well.

On the basis of an increased share of the vote last time and our performance in 2005 (when by the way we were also running Swansea and Bridgend Councils) we should be on course for a second AM in my region.
Between 1999 and 2003 your share of the vote went up by 1.6%, the Tories by 2.5% and the Greens by 2.4%. You could also argue that the Tory vote would have gone up by a larger percentage in 2003 because 6113 voted for UKIP. You can't compare your share of the vote in the UK election of 2005 with now. In 2005 your control of both Bridgend and Swansea councils was less than a year old. This time your candidates in Bridgend for example will have to defend a 4.8% council tax increase and cuts in services. That is of course assuming that they get the budget approved by full council. You still haven't answered the point regarding the unfairness of a system which stops the Labour party with 41% of the total vote cast still not being allocated a list member. Effectively all those who voted Labour on the list are wasting their votes unless one of the Labour constituency candidates fails to get elected.
We could argue about this until we are blue in the face and not agree so I do not propose to continue this circular argument. The facts are however that our vote went up between 1999 and 2003, it went up again in 2005 and if we were to duplicate that result we will have two AMs in this region. I can perfectly reasonably make a comparision with 2005 because it is part of an upward trend going back to 1997 but we will see what happens in May.

The impact of our controlling Swansea and Bridgend has yet to be seen but I would not make any assumptions about it and nor should you. The fact is we do not know. We will have to wait and see.

I had not commented on the alleged unfairness of the D'hondt system because I was not aware you had made the point. I am on record however as saying that it should be replaced with STV. Your interpretation of it is actually a misunderstanding of how the system works.

The whole point of the top up list is to iron out the lack of proportionality in the first past the post vote. Thus seats are allocated in proportion to votes cast, taking account of seats won in the constituencies.
Since Labour is almost bound to win all 7 seats in what is an artificial non existent former European constituency then the best tactic would be for Labour voters to vote negatively for another party in order to stop the election of certain individual candidates. Peter Hain has already said that Labour should be green as well as red. Labour voters could start by piling their thousands of votes behind the Green list candidates in May
Oh Plaid, impotent Plaid.
Cymrumark> It’s gone well beyond what Plaid can say, or what Plaid can do with posters, and/or what Plaid can do with silly gimmickry promises. The current leadership of Plaid has wrought such critical strategic damage to Plaid Cymru that absent a fundamental shift back to principles that speak to Welsh voters concerns and, over time, reacquisition of strong affection and connection to Plaid Cymru, Plaid will remain the impotent party that it now is. The way to undo the carnage wrought by Plaid’s leadership is by taking up local issues that matter to local people. This needs to be said twice: Plaid must return to what it did best – focus on local issues that matter to voters; the voters will redevelop a strong affection for Plaid and will once again see the sparkle in Plaid Cymru’s eye and reward Plaid with their votes come election time. It is almost certainly too late with respect to the upcoming election, but after the next election Plaid’s members should dismiss their current leadership with prejudice and support a back-to-Plaid-basics campaign, it’s going to take a few years to rebuild Plaid, but it can be done with the right leadership.

Plaid’s destiny is to bring a sense of pride back to Wales.
Plaid Cymru must live up to the challenge; Wales needs a strong Plaid Cymru, not a Plaid fronted by a pathetic impotent whining leadership that is it is lumbered with today. Plaid must aim to regain the seats it lost in South Wales and become what Plaid Cymru is destined to be: Labour’s strongest opposition party in Wales. However, this is not going to happen while Plaid seeks a separate Wales – the voters are not going to buy that, but Plaid can campaign for lower business tax like that enjoyed in the Irish Republic which has brought boom town to Ireland, what voters don’t want a vibrant Irish tiger style economy in the Welsh heartlands? Over time Plaid can build on Welsh culture in a sympathetic non-threatening way (re: English-only speakers). Plaid’s destiny is to bring a sense of pride back to Wales.

Wales deserves better than the impotent pathetic Plaid of today.
It’s just so sad to see Plaid taking the low road signposted to oblivion. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see a vibrant, strong, well respected Plaid Cymru, not the impotent pathetic Plaid of today. Wales deserves better.
Anon, in 40 years of playing and watching rugby, I have only seen a place kick to touch happen once - and that was in a gale.
I can understand why Helen Mary should take the front of the line - but Rhodri Glyn as jumper? Never - unless his Sunday job somehow lifts him to a higher level.
Truth is, it's a poster designed by someone who knows zilch about rugby.
That is assuming you can get them to vote tactically in that way. Chances are most of them will give Labour both their votes and the Wales Labour Party will be encouraging them to do that as well.
I agree that Labour will be telling its supporters to give Labour both their votes. A pointless exercise given the calibre of the no hopers chosen by Labour on the list in your area. It really sums up how stupid the apparachicks of the Welsh Labour party are. What they should do is to encourage someone to run as the pensioners candidate on the list as in Scotland. It would really make the list election in your area interesting.It might even encourage voters to come out to vote.Last time only 139548 out a possible electorate of 395596 bothered to even vote for the list candidates. A real indictment on the failure of all the parties and their candidates to engage with the public.
Peter my comments were aimed at Chris wood and he kindly replied. Concentrating on local issues is exact;ly what we are doing in most of Wales. In particular in central north wales where we have been very active on the hospital closure camapigns forcing the other parties to play catch up. Given that we have had two of our three best general election results under the current leadership I think the issue has been more about lack of proper campaigning on the ground than any strategic positioning etc.
Cymrumark> given the baggage that Labour is carrying Plaid should be making real inroads into Labour territory. "But it is clear to see" (FYC) that this is not happening. Plaid is woefully underperforming - responsibility for that rests with its current leadership.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?