Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Mind of a Candidate You Shouldn't Vote For

At the very recent, and VERY successful PoP Glasgow demonstration, I took advantage of my position as the M.C at George Square to give a wee speech (haven't found a video of it, does anyone have one?). The thrust of the speech was that, this being council elections, we should vote for local issues, not national issues. For example, it doesn't matter one iota if a candidate supports independence or not, they only get the same say on that issue that we all do!

Vote on local issues!

I also recounted a comment someone had made to me recently where they said:

You can't base your vote on a cycle lane, surely?

They were referring to the fact that I was going to be basing my vote on the approach that councilors had to the Bears Way cycle lane.

But its only a cycle lane!!
This was the response I gave in my PoP speech.

But what he didn't understand was that it isn't about the cycle lane at all. It's about so much more. It's about pollution. It's about health. It's about the environment. It's about efficiency use of space. Is about providing our children with independence. It's about eradicating congestion. It's about appropriate use of land space. It's about reducing transport deprivation. It's about people friendly towns and cities. It's about places...

To expand on that... The facts behind investment in cycle infrastructure are overwhelming. Investing in cycle infrastructure pays back significantly in so many ways, too many ways for me to try and reference in a short blog.

Investing in cycling is a no-brainer!

So, when I look at my what my candidates have said in relation to Bears Way, it isn't just telling me what they think about a cycle lane, it is telling me if they are someone who bases their decisions on fact, on research, and on logic.

If a candidate is saying that they support cycling, but is suggesting that you do that by looking for wiggly back routes, and plotting them on a map, whilst pandering to the whims of Mr and Mr Angry who don't like segregated cycle lanes, as it means they have to drive a few MPH slower, then...well... that's obviously the way they will conduct future council business.

In East Dunbartonshire one party in particular has made their opinions on segregated infrastructure very clear. The SNP. I critique their election propaganda on it here.

Two other parties have also made their thoughts clear on the Bears Way. Both Labour and the Greens have stated quite clearly that they support extension of Bears Way along with proper design of the next phases.

Last week I also contacted the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrat candidates in the area, asking them if they would support the extension of Bears Way. I haven't heard back. Going on past record, the conservatives had previously supported extending it, and the Liberal Democrats voted to stop it being extended. The lack of response from both might or might not speak volumes...

I also personally contacted a local independent candidate in my area (Bishopbriggs North and Campsie)  Brian Reid. His comments were very reasonable with regards to issues that the council have with forward planning, and he stated:

I do believe that any extension of  cycle ways should be a priority for our council.

Am I telling you how to vote? Absolutely not. These issues may for you, be only one of many that you will be considering. However, as I've mentioned, consider the candidates approach to something that can only be a good thing, and you might have just seen...

....the Mind of a Candidate You Shouldn't Vote For......*


*Actually you should vote for them....For them all....In an Standard Transferable Vote system you can actually vote against people by scoring them last. It's called Vote Till You Boke. **

** Oh and look at http://walkcyclevote.scot/ to see if your candidate supports three important asks.

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