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Its a good idea for hitting the "soft" LibDem vote... but the design needs a little work... as i say good idea that should probably be pursued, but needs some refining IMHO, as its a bit cluttered in its present form (three blocks of colour and a clearer headline on the front would work best)...

I like the idea. Painting the LibDems as in bed with the left might also encourage those defections we keep hearing rumours of...

You missed the bit at the front:
Vote Tory and get Lib Dem.............

Am I to understand that Lord Cashcroft is a left wing Troll? Not sure whether he is a yellow one, or a red one. A mix? Nice Orange troll.

Problem is Conservatives are a yellow shade of red these days too... The big 3 parties are now all huddled together on the same small policy island: a long way from the mainland of real voters.

Vote Liberal Democrat. Get Liberal Democrat.

Our stance north of the border of not going into coalition, but not voting down a minority government presumably leaves the door open to an SNP minority government (if the polls are to be believed).

This would have some significant advantages for us:
(1) It gets voters used to a non-Labour government...they can be voted out
(2) It denies the Lib Dems a "kingmaking role" in Edinburgh (A Tory/SNP block would be bigger than a Labour/Lib Dem one)
(3) We can act on our unionist instincts and vote against the specific issue of a referendum on independence
(4) We can also vote against any other daft idea the Nats come up with
(5) The Nats weakness in government will be shown up, weakening them for future elections
(6) We remain a genuine opposition putting forward a distinctive centre-right agenda

Or has this Englishman read it all wrong?

But which Liberal Democrat, TimberWolf? The David Laws variety or the Simon Hughes variety?

Alan S - One of the many disadvantages of the First Past the Post voting system is that there is only one candidate from each party on the parliamentary election ballot paper. It would be good to be able to choose between the David Laws variety or the Simon Hughes variety but that would need Proportional Representation by the Single Transferable Vote.

Conservatives voters would then be able to choose between the Ken Clarke variety and the David Cameron variety. Woukln't that be an advantage?

There is a difference between the Clarke and Cameron varieties?

That's the best argument I've ever heard for PR, TimberWolf!!!

It's a brilliant leaflet.

Vote Blue, Go Green.
Vote Yellow, Get Brown.

Vote Conservative? Get Lost!!

There a many other good reasons for PR, Alan S. Go to www.electoral-reform.org.uk.
It could change your life.

Timberwolf: your novel theory about PR/STV only works with multi-member constituencies where electors can split their preferences to single out the David Laws Lib Dem and shun the Simon Hughes Lib Dem. If there's only one Lib Dem on offer then John Voter is still stuck with the downside of the charmingly polymorphous nature of the Liberal Democrat Party.

"Am I to understand that Lord Cashcroft is a left wing Troll? Not sure whether he is a yellow one, or a red one. A mix? Nice Orange troll."

I'm all the colours of the rainbow - think of a coalition of 'none of the above'.

I can't say I find either David Laws or Simon Hughes (and their respective wings of the Lib Dems) particularly appealing.

Sean, I agree. David Laws is supposed to be an economic and social liberal but in practice comes across as a chameleon. Huhne and Cable are just tax-and-spend leftwing politicians who have spent a lot of time and effort dressing themselves up as something different.

William Norton - Yes multimember constituencies would be needed to get Proportional Repesentation. Otherwise the results would be disproportionate, as with FPTP. Of course the more MPs returned for each constituency, the more accurate the proportions would be, but I would suggest 3 or 4 member constituencies.
It could be introduced for the 3 councillor wards which are common in local government.

What does Sean Fear really know about the Liberals/Liberal Democrats? Isn't he the person who correctly identified Frank Liberal Davies as the Liberal candidate who led to the introduction of party descriptions on ballot papers? Sean Fear said that Frank Davies died shortly afterwards. In fact Frank Davies left the Liberals to join Labour. He later stood as a SDP candidate in the Alliance, then finished up as a Conservative Councillor for Garden Suburb Ward of Barnet Council.

In the 1960s, Italian Politics introduced the phrase "historic compromise" where the Christian Democrats and the Communists coalesced.
May 4th, is the time for a “historic compromise” in Scottish Politics namely an SNP/Tory coalition. The differences between the two are nowhere as wide as that between the two Italian Parties. It has been put before by writers such as John McLeod (an SNP Supporter) - it works on an ad hoc basis in some councils such as Falkirk where the small number of Tories support and formal SNP/Independent coalition. It would not work in Wales where PC is far more left wing that the SNP but the electoral system in both Countries was constructed in such a way that Nationalist/Tory Coalitions are the only way to defeat Labour (and in 1998 such an option was a non-starter)

TimberWolf - what evidence is there that parties will a) select an ideological cross balance and b) campaign on it? If we'd had STV at the last election I somehow doubt that voters in easter Surrey + Elmbridge who were concerned one way or the other on, say, university tuition fees would have had Ian Taylor and Chris Grayling's different positions at the time of the HE Bill (one abstained, the other was the HE spokesperson opposing) rammed home in literature. Rather the difference between a party's candidates would be one who's always in the Epsom & Banstead press, another who's always in Oxted, another in Dorking and so forth.

The recent Northern Irish elections showed the danger of parties shreding votes with too many candidates. I remain to be convinced that rational parties (so that excludes the UUP and the West Tyrone SDLP but not the UK Big 2 & 1/2) operating under STV would take such chances.

And 3/4 member STV constituencies are way too small and would be very vulnerable to attempts to do a successful Tullymander.

Tim Roll-Pickering - If parties do not select a cross balance then they will be limiting their appeal to voters. For example if the Conservatives chose all extreme right wing candidates, then moderate voters would be more inclined to vote for Liberal Democrat candidates. If all the Conservative candidates in the constituency were anti-Europe, pro hunting, female, white, then there is a good chance that votes would be lost to other parties. A result would be that MPs would be more likely to reflect the opinions of the voters, who would achieve greater power while the headquarters of political parties would lose power.

Yellow loves being in bed with red

Yes, we can't have that! Cameron wants to bed the yellow himself.

a long way from the mainland of real voters.

but Tam Large , that's a perfect description of where UKIP are; on a different continent to real voters - with their snouts in the trough in Brussels, doing their best to ensure the gravy train doesn't crash into the buffers - while poor saps like you buy into the biggest con of all, that Farage is a principled unspun man of the people.

Haven't you got some local campaigning to do, you must want at least a few of your candidates to get a vote in double figures

TimberWolf: There is little evidence from past general elections that individual candidates strongly advocating their own positions on issues that the party is divided on has any electoral advantage for the party that is not more than cancelled out by the party being divided. And the number of issues makes it hard to offer a real cross section, especially with the small sized constituencies you propose.

It is far more likely that parties seeking to maximise the number of seats they can win will seek to pick candidates with different appeals to different sections of the constituency - in the eastern Surrey case you would get one candidate primarily focusing on Epsom & Ewell, another on Oxted and so forth. Parties do not like to be divided and the spectacle of a party's one candidates all working the same patch trying to get votes at each other's expense is one that few sane parties would tolerate. The idea of an ideological cross balance is a theoretical argument often made by the STV lobby but there's little to suggest it will happen. What it will do to change politics is make it much more parochial - look at the mess in Ireland where no-one's sure what the two main parties really stand for and TDs are so heavily parish pump politicians that even foreign ministers spend 60% of their time on constituency casework.

Tim Roll-Pickering - A four member constituency with probably ten candidates would offer voters a better opportunity to vote for a candidate closer to their own viewpoints than a single member constituency with say four candidates.

A four member East Surrey constituency could well result in 2 Conservatives,1 Liberal Democrat and 1 Labour MP being elected. While they might well have stronger support in one part of the constituency than another, at least voters would have an MP holding views closer to their own to contact when necessary.

Political Parties would of course have to work harder as they would no longer be able to target their resources on 100 'winnable' seats and ignore the rest of the country.

Probably voters would take a greater interest in elections, because they would realise that their votes could help elect MPs. At present the votes of most people do not help to elect anyone. Would not that be better for democracy?

Looking at those policies on the reverse side it's like Michael Howard's 2005 campaign,nothing Cameroon about it. Very little original thinking or eye-catching.

On the 2005 figures the Conservatives would have an outside shot at three out of four seats in a four member eastern Surrey seat - but they'd want to maximise each of the three candidates' vote bases and balance their vote well, which is far more doable with regional based candidates working individual areas of strength than having all three running up and down the length and breadth of the constituency and pretending to the voters that somehow every conceivable major variation of Conservatism is on offer. An effective slate of three Conservatives would seek to get all three elected at another party's expense (on the 2005 figures it would be Labour's). What you envisage would involve the three on a course to get at most two elected, with each candidate trying to shaft at least running mate so they don't become the loser.

Parties working to maximise the number of MPs they return is completely at odds with the STV Fantasy Isle where the voter gets a pick and choose Chinese take away menu of positions.

I'm also unconvinced by the argument made that turnout is declining because of (insert individual grievance with the current constitutional set-up or the state of politics today). Turnout is declining across the board in the west, regardless of the voting systems used, and seems to be linked to cultural factors amongst the populations.

And politics & government is about delivering efficient services. Would it really be a good idea to have national provision undermined and sensible consolidation limited because every attempt to (say) rationalise hospital resources to maximise efficiency and services for all founders because parish pump politicians can't see beyond the end of their own inefficient hospital?

Excuse me, but is everyone not missing the heavily ironic point here? The leaflet could just as easily say on the other side Vote Tory get Labour - or as we say in Scotland, VOTE BLUE GET RED.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party has expressly said it will not support a Scottish Nationalist administration. It has let it be known that it will support a minority Labour or Labour and Liberal Democrat administration in a vote of confidence and then deal with policies on an issue by issue basis. Just when Scotland wants rid of Labour the Scottish Conservative leadership says it shall keep it in power.

After the election on 3rd May the MSPs will be sworn in and then vote for a presiding officer (speaker) in a secret ballot. Next they must then elect a First Minister within 28 days or a fresh election is called. The First Minister must have a simple majority of votes cast,.

If, as the leaders of the two largest parties (and therefore the most likely scenario), Alex Salmond (or Nicola Sturgeon) is left standing against Jack McConnell in the final ballot for First Minister what will the Scottish Conservatives do? Abstaining may allow a nationalist to win so they have to choose between the least of two evils or leaving a stalemate that brings a further election (for which they will be blamed).

There is no hiding place. Those are the rules. Annabel Goldie has made it plain she will not support a nationalist first minister.

Blaming the Lib Dems for eight years of Labour is one thing - but to suggest that the Scottish Conservatives are going to do anything other than keep Labour in power is the height of hypocrisy - as well as damaging to the prospects of the Tory candidates that are trying to beat Labour in marginal seats such as Eastwood, Stirling, Ayr, Pentlands and Dumfries.

Tim Roll-Pickering, yet more good arguments against wrecking our current democratic process in the name of given power to the third party.

at last, a hard hitting simple message from the Conservatives. It's been 20 years since the last one, from

Thatcher - Anyone Who Tries It On Gets The Handbag - (brilliant for Galtieri, Arthur Scargill, Jaques De Lors - but knid\fed from behind by Ken Clarke, Heseltine, Howe and the rest of the europhiles)

Then we had

Major - Back To Basics (Waffle)

Hague - Keep The Pound for One Parliament (i.e. get rid of it after that).

IDS - The Quiet Man (Too quiet)

Howard - We've Got To Do What's Best For Britain
(Like what?)

And now at last, Cameron - Yellow Equals Red
(if you want the tossers out, we're ready to butcher the bastards!)

Music to my ears!!

Annabel Goldie has made it plain she will not support a national first minister- Brian Monteith. Good.


I presume you mean a 'nationalist' First Minister.

Annabel Goldie's approach is inept. Scotland wants change - away from Labour. People are turning to the SNP not because they want independence but because they want change - and the SNP is the party best placed to do that.

The Conservative enemy is socialism not patriotism. The SNP, Liberal Democrats and Labour all offer socialism. They also all offer home rule of varying degrees - Labour offers the current solution, the Lib Dems offer British Federalism and the Nats complete divorce. It is all a matter of degrees.

If the Conservative Party is serious about being a political party of any influence in Scotland it has to be prepared to play by the rules. They may not be the rules of choice but they are the rules. That means all parties will be in a minority and reaching agreement with one or more parties is the only way to have your policies applied.

It's all very well saying you will take matters issue by issue - but first you have to choose the first Minister (and thus the government). Abstaining is dangerous in that you may get the result you were most against and, if you keep Labour in, what do you say to all the electors that voted Conservative to get rid of Labour? The message being sent to people that want Labour out is don't waste your vote on a Tory, use it on a Nationalist.

What is the point in offering a manifesto? It's an entirely false prospectus like saying "look at my knitting patterns, they're lovely cardigans and would fit you well, but I'll never knit them for you because it means sharing the wool with someone else."

In Scotland the Conservative Party has decided to be nothing more than be a think tank and a poor one at that.

By being willing to back anyone but Labour the party would be able to tap into the huge public dissatisfaction with Labour - building on that for the Westminster elections - and be a reliable unionist check on the nationalists and Lib Dems.

Personally I would demand a referendum within the first three months, confident in the expectation that we could win, shooting the nationalist fox and forcing that issue off the agenda. Then watch the SNP implode.

It is a matter of great sadness to me that so-called unionists remain defensive about celebrating and proclaiming the union and instead retreat on to the defensive, giving the impression that Scotland wants independence when all the evidence suggests nothing could be further from the truth.

"Vote Blue, Go Green.
Vote Yellow, Get Brown."

AND WHAT IF YOU want brown, then what???????

Vote red get brown, ans we want brown cos he rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


bREOWN ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Vote Blue, Go Green.
Vote Yellow, Get Brown."

AND WHAT IF YOU want brown, then what???????

Vote red get brown, ans we want brown cos he rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


bREOWN ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Annabel Goldie and the Scottish Conservative campaign team have got off to an excellent start, they really are going on the bread and butter issues while the SNP and Labour play the Union card. As for the Libdems, who?
I loved the "vote libdem get Labour" poster, but even better is ConHom's cheeky "Yellow loves being in bed with red"!

Vote Conservative. Get Nasty.

Vote Purple - Get UKIP!

Scotty says: "Annabel Goldie and the Scottish Conservative campaign team have got off to an excellent start, they really are going on the bread and butter issues while the SNP and Labour play the Union card. As for the Libdems, who?"

Rather than these inane witterings can you actually post an argument based upon some evidence, avoiding the party cliches and platitudes, that might give us all cause for your incredible optimism. As someone who is delivering leaflets, canvassing supporters and mixing with candiadtes that are doing the same day in and day out I can only suspect you live far away from the fight.

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