miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
First, a salute to fallen soldiers: Susan Kramer, Julia Goldsworthy, Bridget Fox, Martin Tod, and the amazing, wonderful, Stephen-Fry-endorsed Evan Harris. Our parliament will be poorer without you, and the crowing of the Tory press over Evan in particular makes me want to vomit.

Second, a salute to the heroes of the hour: Sarah Teather, Tessa Munt, Naomi Long, Julian Huppert and Tim Farron: well fought, and well held, guys.

Third, a promise to the millions of people who voted for us and were disenfranchised (especially to the 13,037 who voted for the supremely talented Hilary Myers in my own constituency, but most heartfeltly to those in Sheffield Central, where we lost by a mere 65 votes): don't despair. We have been set back, that's for sure. But we've been doing this for a while, and a few setbacks will not keep us down. It is not right, it CANNOT be right that the Tories got 1.5 times as many votes as us, but 6 times the seats. That is not democracy, whichever way you slice it. There are protests tomorrow all over the country in favour of electoral reform - don't forget to wear purple! - and if you're a member of the Lib Dems you can tell our federal executive exactly what we want from any possible coalition agreement (details here).

Many of us joined the Lib Dems for the primary reason of pushing for electoral reform. We don't want STV because it would be better for the party; we joined the party because we recognised it as the best way to push for STV because it is the best system for EVERYONE. And we're not going to stop just because the system is rigged; the system being rigged only makes us more determined to unrig it.

Keep the faith, people.

For those of you who don't follow me on twitter, I lost my council election, but I got nearly a thousand votes, and the winner just over two thousand, so I don't think I did badly for a first timer with only one leaflet. Mat also lost, but he did beat the BNP and an independent. And Hilary, who has worked so hard and inspired so many in Calder Valley... well, she lost too. It was a difficult night, leavened slightly by Kate Sweeny's level-headedness, Graham Hall's sweeties, and Greg Burrows' hipflask of single malt whisky. The count was a surreal experience, where party affiliation didn't seem to matter so much as the feeling that we were all in it together, sitting under the sword of Damocles wondering where it would fall. I rather liked it, even if I didn't like the result.

Now comes the aftermath, and the thanking of everyone who helped us. I'd like to start with you guys. Yes, you, sat behind the monitor reading this. You're my bedrock, you help to keep me (relatively) sane, and you'll be hearing more from me soon.

My result

Date: Friday, May 7th, 2010 11:35 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
6,883 +3.6%

I was rather pleased, but also so utterly knackered that I really couldn't enjoy it.

And well done at getting a thousand votes in a ward; that's a lot.

And I have a Labour councillor; and I don't like it! Guess I have some leaflets to deliver.

Re: My result

Date: Friday, May 7th, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
Yes, it's weird. *hugs*

I think writing and delivering a thank you leaflet is probably the best cure.

Re: My result

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
telegramsam: Huggy Mulder and Scully (mulder/scully huggy)
From: [personal profile] telegramsam
Well there WILL be a next time I'm sure, hopefully you can apply the lessons from this go-round to good effect (and maybe even have TWO leaflets).

Just consider this one a test-run, eh?

My work uniform is purple. How interesting...

Date: Friday, May 7th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
From: [personal profile] davegodfrey
I love you too.

And to everyone crowing over Evan Harris (I've not read anything and frankly I don't want to Goldacre and Cox weeping on twitter is enough thanks). Fuck You. Fuck You In The Ear. Regardless of how the rest of the country went, that was the tragedy of the night for me. I cannot believe that they've replaced him with someone who appears to be cut from the same cloth as Mad Nad.

However I reckon he'll be back, certainly if the next election's STV/PR/"insert preferred system here" based he'll be top of the list- and if the share of the vote is anything to go by he'll be straight back in there.

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 08:12 am (UTC)
sashajwolf: Lib Dem logo (libdems)
From: [personal profile] sashajwolf
Commiserations, but well done on getting so many votes. We lost 16 council seats in Waltham Forest, which left us with five and took us from NOC to Labour control - not entirely unexpected after a split of sorts in the Walthamstow local party, but frustrating to those of us in Leyton & Wanstead who had nothing to do with it. The five who remain are absolute stars, though. Both parliamentary candidates increased their share of the vote, which was also pleasing, though I'm sorry we didn't manage to give the party the Asian MP it so badly needs - we thought we were in with a chance of that for a while.

Has anyone checked yet what our gender balance looks like now in the Parliamentary Party, and if so, could you point me at it? I won't have time to do it myself until at least 5 pm, and I'm kind of hoping someone else will have done it by then.

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 10:46 am (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
There's a list on LDV. It's essentially worse; we gained Tessa and, effectively, Naomi, but lost Julia, Sandra and Susan. Depending on whether we cound Naomi, the proportion stays roughly the same, but it's an awful proportion.

Then, we lost seats and barely held some more, so an improvement was unlikely :-(

Full list of Lib Dem MPs

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
From: [personal profile] sashajwolf

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 09:03 am (UTC)
pmoodie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
For what it's worth, I voted for your bunch.

Dust yourself down and take a rest, you deserve it. Then get back into the fray! :)

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 11:26 am (UTC)
burkesworks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] burkesworks
Well, don't blame us here in Bratfud, because all our legwork and leafleting got David Ward over the line despite the Labour vote holding up well and some very nasty intimidatory tactics by the nominal "Tory" candidate. So depressing to see some of the other results though, notably Evan and Bridget - there are 11 seats where just 1% or so would have seen us through, and there was quite a bit of gerrymandering of the latest constituency boundaries, my own seat included; on the old boundaries, David would have won by about 3000.

I'm not sure what to make of any arrangements with the Conservatives. I certainly don't want a formal coalition; there is much on the Tory agenda that is anathema to me, and I don't believe for a moment that they have any enthusiasm whatever for a fair form of PR. Turkeys after all don't vote for Christmas. OTOH, a coalition with Labour at the present time would have been instant political suicide, and as things stand it looks like the death knell for the hated ID cards... It's a tough call. I'd favour a Cameron minority government with us acting as a buffer towards some of the more obnoxious legislation the Tories may have up their immaculately-tailored sleeves.

At least the one big silver lining to our present electoral figures is that the number of MPs we have at the moment carry a hell of a lot more clout and leverage than if we'd have had a hundred or more of them up against a Tory overall majority. I just hope sincerely that Nick Clegg and co use their judgement wisely.

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 12:02 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Yay for David; that stack of envelopes I stuffed definitely made all the difference...

Re Tory coalition: the thing with a coalition is that if something's complete anathema to the other side, it can be stopped. They'd have a bigger claim on their policies, but if it's a formal coalition we'd have much more say.

Coalition with Labour impossible and agree suicidal, and minority govt to unstable.unreliable for economy, unfortunately (I don't like we need to keep the markets happy, but without genuine reform we do need to keep the markets happy).

Re Toris and PR; it wouldn't actually hurt them half as much as some of their doom mongerers say, nor would it entrench a "progressive coalition" as some idiot Labourites suggest. STV would in many ways help the Conservatives, it'd definitely make sure they get back to being and remain a national party; especially true in Scotland, but also true in areas of NE &c.

We're already a national party, but it'd help us show that we're also an English party; we get many MPs from "celtic fringes" but with far more votes in England than in those areas.

Meh, we'll see. Tories have u-turned on coalition, this is interesting.

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
ext_21022: (Default)
From: [identity profile] purple-pen.livejournal.com
Sorry you didn't win your election, but well done on what you did achieve. I hope you'll have another crack at it next time.

I'm absolutely gutted about Evan Harris - he was my local MP for the entire time when I lived in Oxford, and I am deeply disappointed in my former neighbours for turning against him. Idiots.

Anyway, I'm not protesting today, because after only three hours sleep on election night, I need some precious sofa-time. But I am wearing a purple dressing-gown, and have signed the Take Back Parliament petition.

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
perlmonger: (libdem)
From: [personal profile] perlmonger
Well done, you: that best-part-of-1000 votes isn't to be sneered at.

The scars on my knuckles and the aches in the muscles in my legs and back will fade, but we got so fscking CLOSE here: 641 votes short on an 11.3% swing was almost enough to make me cry; we would've won on a sane voting system. I just hope that the meaningless weasel promises from the Tories don't seduce those of us who make that decision, throwing PR away and likely destroying our party in the process.

Date: Saturday, May 8th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
bagfish: Really, you can't pass (Gandalf)
From: [personal profile] bagfish
Good post Jennie. I feel terribly proud of my constituency for being so keen on their incumbent Lib Dem MP Tim Farron. Us activists worked hard here, my Dad spent three weeks canvassing every night; me, Mum and Dave delivered reams of leaflets and for us it paid off.

It's so gutting that a similar or higher level of commitment failed in other constituencies. As you say, the loss of Evan Davies is appalling, but in some ways even worse is the loss of so may female MPs. We're doing bad enough on representation without this loss :(

All I can hope is that Nick and the rest will hold out for PR. People like Liam Fox (spit) who claim that it's "selfish" to "hold the "government" to ransom" over electoral reform are just so wrong. Fundamentally our views are not represented adequately, and too many in the country are effectively disenfranchised.

I wrote to the Federal Executive to put my points across because I think it's important for them to hear the voice of the members. As I keep saying, no PR, no deal.

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