Just one more episode of House before I hit the sack… just one more.
Bah, I’m as addicted to the programme as Greg House is addicted to V… (I’m not going to type it, it’s a huge spam magnet.)
House is not a good thing to watch during an election campaign. I get urges to berate voters and attempt to wittily browbeat them. The last few days have been keeping up with the leafleting, of course, but also starting to get our first voter contact of the campaign.
First job is getting nomination papers signed. In order to stand for election, candidates have to be qualified in one or more of the following categories: on the electoral register, live in the electoral area, work in the electoral area, own land or property in the electoral area. In addition to that, those of us putting ourselves up for election can’t be insane, bankrupt or have a non-expired criminal conviction. I bet you feel relieved already.
But having qualified candidates is just the first step. Once you have the candidates, you
then have to get them nominated. To stand in any given ward, ten people who are on the electoral register in that ward have to sign a bit of paper to say you can stand.
All well in good. In most wards where we are active, there is no problem finding ten people we’ve helped or who support us. But we also have to stand candidates in areas where we are less than strong. Areas where don’t have people ready to sign your form. Areas where what you have to do is find a nice long road, with loads of people living on it, and knock on doors one by one explaining what you want. “Hello. I’m from the Lib Dems trying to get candidates on the ballot paper in your ward, but to do that I need people who live here to sign a piece of paper saying they don’t mind.”
Amazingly, some people do sign. But you do have to knock on a lot of doors to get just ten signatures.