I've today have a questionnaire from my local Tory candidate, Michael Gove... it reads as 'Which bandwagon concerns you today?' and is full of leading questions. For example: ..in your view, which one thing would make the biggest difference to crime? The choices are more police, tougher sentences, more CCTV. What about other issues, such as better standards of living?
The Liberal Democrats support ending prison for first time burglars and want to give the vote to convicted prisoners. Conservatives strongly oppose this and have pledged to put an extra 40,000 police officers on the bear. What do you think? Police should spend more time on the beat and less time filling in forms We should continue the current crime policies, including Labour's early release scheme
What about The choices presented bear only a vague resemblence to the question, and putting first time burglars in prison tends to increase the probability of them being second time burglars
One question reads: Which of these local issues matter most to you? and includes things like grafitti and council tax levels. My understanding was that the bloke was trying to be elected to Westminster and so it was NATIONAL issues which he should be concerning himself with.
One of the options was speeding traffic - what about speed limits which are set stupidly low? We have dual carriageways nearby with a 40mph limit! Motorways limits should be higher but those limits should be enforces and so on.
One question reads 'In order to ensure balance in our surveys, it would be helpful to know which party you are likely to support in a general election...' I bet it would, pal. The opions are a list of the parties (some in combination), won't vote or 'other'. There isn't a 'None of your business' option.... that'll get written in.
It seems that the election locally will be about things like street cleaning (a county level issue, not a westminster one). If living in pre-Mandela release South Africa with Apartheid in full flow, would I be more concerned about civil rights or more concerned with trains running on time?
Should one vote for the big issues, or those which impact day to day life? Especially, should one vote on local issues in an election which is to a body which doesn't address local issues?
Given that this country now has laws which allow for imprisonment without trial, I don't think that's a tough call. As things stand though, it's not an easy thing to get from the candidates what their position is in these areas. They're following a trend, it was difficult enough to get that from the sitting MP.
The reference to CCTV? It is just one co-opted Rosalyn Harper issue. I'm not too comfortable with CCTV, but if we are to have it then to my mind if we are to have CCTV then the CCTV should be web enabled. We should be able to see for ourselves!
Update: 6th April 05, this survey is available online. Much less fun online, one can't point out the flaws in the questions.