I was speaking to a high profile political activist recently who told me of a problem and asked my advice. I found it quite difficult, so with their permisison I am sharing it with you for your thoughts.
This person - and I won't tell you the party because it doesn't matter - is a well known political activist and has been for many years. They have rotated through all of the jobs within the constituency organisation including standing for hopeless seats and trying their hardest to fight them well. Then at the Norwich North by-election the activist found themself in such opposition to the candidate that their party had chosen it sparked the question; does an activist have to be active for all candidates - knowing that they would let down their party if they didn't?
At first this person did some delivery rounds but without motivation. As time went on they ground to a halt doing nothing by half way through. They found themself being critical of the candidate, not just in private but also in public (though nothing in the press).
By the end, the activist was getting a really hard time from other party members for a failure to pull their weight in the campaign.
Is it right or fair to do that to an activist who won't campaign? Should this person have done more? When does a candidate put you off so much that it changes the way you see the party and your motivation?
So over to you ... does the candidate matter, was the activist right and what should their colleagues response have been to this?