Saturday, May 30, 2009

Out Canvassing

Been out canvassing around Welshpool today with Emma Greenow, one of our four Conservative Euro-candidates. We took coffee at the Church House, where the Powys Eisteddfod Committee were holding a coffee morning. Lots of people there. Emma's mother, Sarah was along as well. I genuinely felt that we were very welcome. This was only in part because Emma and her mum are very charming people. I also thought that no-one felt any negativity whatsoever towards us, despite the public loathing of politicians that I see reported on in the media. After coffee, we delivered leaflets around housing estates in the town. We didn't knock on doors, but met a few people who were out and about. Again not one word of anti. We spoke to one resident at length who is just about to emigrate to Australia. His name is John Howard, so he won't have much trouble striking up conversations in his new home.

I already thought the criticism we've seen about three of the Conservative candidates living outside of Wales as parochial b*******. Today emphasised the point. I already knew that our top candidate, Kay Swinbourn is a first language Welsh speaker from Llandyssil, who currently lives in Ledbury, and our second candidate, Evan Price, has a property in Crickhowell and has very strong links with Wales. I was walking down Berriew Street with Emma and her mum, when Sarah pointed towards one of the shops (Aqua Sulis), and told me that she was born there. She used to live above Jones, a draper's shop in the town. No wonder Emma has such a love for Wales, and is keen to represent a Welsh constituency.

Another reason that people were pleased to meet Emma was that she was the first Euro-candidate who has been out canvassing in Welshpool (that I know of anyway). The reason that there is going to be such a low turnout on Thursday is that no-one knows the candidates. Wales is such a big constituency that there is no way that candidates can be widely known. That's proportional representation for you. I very much hope that the Conservatives defeat the Liberal Democrats in Montgomeryshire. If I'm going to create the momentum I need to win the General Election, we need the victory on Thursday. In theory, I was out supporting Emma today, but I felt as if Emma was supporting me. This is good. Mutual support is what friendships are made of.


Dewi Harries said...

Parochial maybe - but it looks appalling. 44 candidates in total for Europe - 4 live in England of which 3 are your top 3....along with a shadow secretaqry representing an English seat the charge of being an English party is easily made.
Clumsy and insensitive at best.

Anonymous said...

I think you might find she hails from Llandysul on the Ceredigion/Carmarthen border Glyn not our own Montgomershire..Llandyssil.....reminds me of that great old Plaid PPC - the late and much lamented Brian Morgan Edwards who stood for Delyn area a year or so back - proudly saying he came from Afon Wen - a fact showing a local credentials but it turned out it was in fact Afon Wen near Pwllhel( 80 miles away) - where North Wales largest laundery is sited! However it did turn out he owned a field near Mold - so the Flintshire residents felt he had a strong local connection - just as Kay and Evan have here!

Anonymous said...

Glyn you need to check your stats, the Conservatives beat the Lib Dems in euro elections hands down in Powys. So don't get to excited in a weeks time when you do it again.

Glyn Davies said...

Dewi - But they were the best candidates, who we believe will do the best job for Wales. Are you really telling me that you would prefer a party put forward candidates of lesser quality because they do not currently live in Wales. I suppose you do.

Anon - Indeed she does hail from Llandyssil.

Anon 2 - I don't think that there has been a local count before - ertainly not Montgomeryshire. Perhaps you can let us know about the figures that you have seen.

Anonymous said...

1999 results:

2004 results done by County, so its faily safe to say yet again the blue team beat the yellows in Montgomery and B&R

Dewi Harries said...

"Are you really telling me that you would prefer a party put forward candidates of lesser quality because they do not currently live in Wales. I suppose you do."

Not really Glyn -- I just find it strange and sad that your best candidates live in England.

Common sense said...

The problem with Wales (and more particularly it's economy - which is in the toilet) is that a LOT of Welsh people move out of Wales not because they want to, but because they want a decent job in the private sector, and once they move, humans have a habit of putting down roots and making friends and generally living a life (but outside Wales), and it gets harder to uproot oneself to return to Wales where the economy is a joke, where elitist politicians with socialist credentials are about as business friendly as a vampire bat.

Wales is great with a capital G for public sector employment - it's where you get gold plated pensions, regular salary increases, good job security, and where one can reach such lofty heights that one can actually believe businesses are to be tolerated, entrepreneurs are to be given wide birth and 'business risk' equates with 'do nuthin', say 'nufin' of real substance, but make flowery words of promises of help on this that and the 'udder thing'.

So is it so surprising then that so many would be Welsh politicians are based outside Wales.

Wales is being turned into a joke economy - where the only place that looks like it is wealthy and doing well is the bay area - but isn't that where the Welsh Assembly is found? The place where AMs can blow thousands of pounds on eating out at the 'pleasure' of British taxpayers.

No wonder the pubs and restaurants are doing so well in the bay area!

Go up the valleys and it's an entirely different picture.

But hey, if that's what Welsh people want, a Welsh Assembly not 'fit for purpose' so be it.

Meanwhile Welsh expats will look back and wonder 'what went wrong' with devolution - why is the Welsh economy in the toilet after 10 years of WAG.

Glyn Davies said...

Dewi - and I don't. I would be concerned if I did not think they were totally commited to Wales - but I believe they are.

Common sense - That's common sense. The reason why I was not concerned about the attempt to make this an issue is that I do not think it will have any resonance with a single voter who is not a fully sign ed up opponent of my party.

A friend said...

Glyn> I’m not a professional political analyst/voting strategy guy so I don’t know what handles and words are used to classify/differentiate the voting part of the population, but I do know numbers and I do understand complex logic – enough to make mistakes and learn from them!

I am trying to visualize the Boolean logic and Venn diagram set theory inherently present in your reply to poster Common Sense.

Specifically: “The reason why I was not concerned about the attempt to make this an issue is that I do not think it will have any resonance with a single voter who is not a fully signed up opponent of my party.”

It’s a brilliant sentence and very insightful use of “resonance” – truly you don’t fit the stereotype of ‘farmer Joe”. Capable of high level abstract thought and applying ‘what-ifs’ to determine priorities and on the political level what you should respond to and how you should respond.

This fragment got my attention: “…single voter who is not a fully signed up opponent of my party”

-> … if we view all voters in a two-dimensional Venn diagram made up of a 2-D box and one 2-D circle in the box. Everyone in the box but not in the circle is a fully signed up opponent of your party. Everyone in the circle is not a signed up opponent of your party.

Now, if we apply the Boolean logic – your “NOT” (emphasis added in capitals): “who is NOT a fully signed up opponent of my party” – where do we find these people in the box/Venn diagram?

Everyone who is a signed up opponent of your party is outside the circle, so it follows that everyone who is NOT a fully signed up opponent of your party is located in the circle – a circle that would include non-signed up and signed-up members of the Conservative Party – a circle that would naturally include potential voters for you. Did you mean to rule them out with your use of “NOT”?

I don’t believe so since it is ‘obvious’ getting such resonance will help motivate them to vote – a potential voter is not an actual voter unless they go the voting station and actually vote!

You obviously know that it is important to ‘get out the vote’ – or rather, ‘get out the voters who would vote for you if they were sufficiently motivated to travel to their voting station’.

When one drives to London on the M4 – the traffic bunches up – gets more aggressive and anxious approaching the London area. Your head is doing the same thing, thinking on another level – a mind that is experiencing such stress is far more focused on the end goal and could miss side-issues – getting out those that that would vote for you if they got to the voting booth is NOT a side issue – you need to find resonance with them. Don’t forget them – in the last analysis you really need them – the ‘latent voter’.

I suspect the group of ‘latent voters’ is growing larger and larger – you DO need to find resonance with them – to motivate them to vote. High turn out will help get you elected.

Do you see a high turnout benefiting LO?