I’m a postal voter for Midlothian South ward. There’s three spaces up for taking and none of our existing Councillors are renewing their terms. None of the existing councillors have written anything easily accessible about what they have been doing for the last five years so it’s no great loss there. When I last looked the pro-Johnson Tory boy of Kieran Munro wasn’t even turning up for council meetings.
I looked through the national council manifestos. These are strange vague documents because they can’t talk about anything concrete, I’m not sure why they don’t include priorities for each area. The SNP one is about how the SNP councillors will work with the Scottish government. The Tory one is about how the Tory councillors will work with the UK government. The Green one is about nice green stuff. The Labour one seems to be about long term Scottish government issues.
I couldn’t find many local party manifestos when I Googled and looked on their websites. Labour has some stuff on their Facebook page about community police teams and against the congestion charge for Edinburgh, I’m all for the congestion charge although I do think it needs implemented to charge people in Edinburgh as well as out. They currently run the council and proposed to raise council tax this year which is probably no bad thing but they were voted down. Their national manifesto says they’ll get rid of the council tax which is interesting as it’s the first I’ve heard of that policy from them but that’s not relevant to this election.
The SNP Midlothian Manifesto is mostly also about national policies. I delivered some leaflets for our local candidate Ellen Scott who is a well kent community figure running the Gorebridge Hive so certainly her actions are concrete.
The Greens seem a nice bunch when I had a beer with them, I can’t find a manifesto and the only concrete policy seems to match my view on the Edinburgh congestion charge.
The Conservatives also don’t seem to have a manifesto for Midlothian, their twitter feed is busy but only about Scottish and UK issues and they seem to go on about voting against the SNP when we have a Labour run council.
All a bit disappointing, I’d want to hear policies on the Gladhouse reservoir parking but neither of the candidates I asked seemed too fussed (probably because it needs a big car park which is expensive and nobody wants to be seen to be attracting cars). I’d want policies on getting a useable cycle path into central Edinburgh. I’d want to know if Gorebridge will get a senior school any time soon.
Balancing the candidates and my preference for parties I’ve gone:
- Malcolm, Green (nice guy, lives locally, not much chance of getting in)
- Ellen, SNP (very useful local person)
- Douglas, SNP (I don’t know him but SNP seem competent to run the council)
- Hazel, Labour (generically uninteresting from what the leaflets say but mostly harmless I guess)
- Kelly, Labour (as above)
- Alba (the less mad of the wee parties)
- Libertarian (the most mad of the wee parties)
- Robin, Tory (tactical vote last for the high-tax high-inflation low-freedom British nationalist corrupt party)
Local democracy seems not very functional around these parts. I suppose if I want it to be better I should get more involved but y’know, reasons.
Remember to use all your votes cos you never know which ones will count!