I am delighted that the debate on the election has got going.
There's a huge cynical lie at the centre of a lot of electioneering. Vote for me, or you'll get the other guy. I fell for it in the Euro elections last year - I voted Green - and yet the awful BNP still got in. I think the Greens are barmy, yet they took comfort from their share of the vote, one of which was cast for entirely negative reasons. Urging a tactical vote is unpleasant. Yet here in Marple the Liberal Democrats are basing their local strategy on it.
Their latest leaflet includes a hideous chart claiming to show a share of the vote in some unsourced, spurious election. In it, there are just three parties - two of which have a share of vote that looks roughly like 45 per cent and 42 per cent. The third, Labour, is portrayed as having what looks like 12.5 per cent. I've had my ruler out, trust me.
What was the election result in this ward last time? 42, 32, 16, with a 4th party, UKIP trailing on 8 per cent. Even if you are generous and claim the graph is attempting to measure the distance between the parties and starts at 8 per cent and upwards, then it is way off. It exaggerates the Conservative support and diminishes Labour. It is based on nothing except appealing to a negative.
So, there are a myriad of reasons why you should vote for any candidate. Supporting the character of that person, their capacity to serve, an endorsement of the programme of that party.
Labour supporters in Marple: if you want to support your party then do so. Don't fall for dismal Liberal Democrat desperation.
In elections you should vote for what you believe in. Here's the thing with the Liberal Democrats round here, especially this candidate - I don't think they believe in anything.