As we did during the election we heard another story from a voter today.
During the election, someone connected with the Labour campaign knocked on their door. If you want a Labour government and to keep your benefits, vote Labour they told him.
Don’t vote Lib Dem or Conservative because they’ll take your benefits away. They even said voting Labour here would bring down the government, when they knew full well:-
a) it wasn’t a General Election so it was impossible to do so
b) the chances of Labour even getting control of Wirral Council were remote.
c) they were overegging the pudding over welfare reform
Now, putting my “honesty is best” hat on, is this wrong from a legal or ethical perspective?
From Labour’s perspective they know exactly what they’re doing in targetting one party’s vote. They know the legal provisions regarding saying untrue things about a character’s character or conduct could get the election voided, yet telling untruths about a party is a more difficult thing to tackle. Going door to door with conversations is harder to prove after the fact that the black and white text of a leaflet.
However it explains the strong No vote in the AV referendum (again people were told it’d bring down the government, despite Labour’s leader and Frank Field backing yes Labour as a party were split on this issue), it also explains why the Labour vote changed between the postal votes going out and the close of polls on polling day.
It’s time however for honesty in politics. The Coalition government will last a further 4 years. No party has overall control of Wirral Council. Negotiations are happening between the Lib Dems and Labour plus the Lib Dems and Conservatives.
However, in order to work with a party you have to one some level trust them. Whoever we go with, our reputation come polling day next May will be tied in with theirs.
The most amusing thing I heard on the doorstep during the election that by the way a person was saying it so adamantly I knew they had been told it was:-
“We’re voting Labour as we’ve been told John Brace is a councillor and it’s the only way to stop him”!
Oh, Labour, when will you start telling the truth at election time?