Thursday, February 12, 2004

Lies, Damned Lies and LibDem graphs...

The dodgy mathematical work of the Norwich LibDems seems to be attracting an unusually large amount of media attention at the moment. In recent days, Norwich South Conservative Chairman Trevor Ivory wrote in the Evening News that the LibDems were suggesting that they were best placed to remove Charlie Clarke in Norwich despite the fact that the Conservatives are in second with the LibDems a poor third and the LibDem share of the vote fell between 2002-2003 whilst the Tory share rose.

Now the Norwich Greens are complaining too, blasting LibDems for changing scales on graphs, altering the proportional size of blocks and even removing the Greens from the voting statistics. In Nelson Ward (where the Greens came within a whisker of winning last time), the LibDems are putting out voting results from years ago to deny the Greens their small recent successes.

The whole concept of these graphs is to try and get everybody to tactically vote out Labour in favour of the LibDems (or in the case of Eaton Ward, vote Lib Dem to stop the Tories winning). It works something along the lines that Tories and Greens would rather a Lib Dem win than Labour - and Labour would rather the LibDems win in Eaton than the Conservatives. Shame they haven't clocked onto the fact that actually most of Norwich knows full well the facts without the aid of a LibDem graph and the only thing that united Tories, Labour and the Greens is a hatred of the Norwich Lib Dems.

Now I know I must be old fashioned but this is an awful way to try and garnish votes. I vote on the basis of principle, policies and (yes, even) personalities - but never for the person best placed to beat somebody else. What a political cop-out.

Without such tactics (which, despite their claims to be the honest party, the Lib Dems nationally support) I wonder how far the LibDems would get. Their only electoral appeal appears to be not being the other three parties.

If Norwich voted on principles, policy and personality (and not LibDem graphs), the result would be very different...

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