In response to DMG’s letter saying that people were unaware that they were invited to come & vote on who should be the Conservative candidate at the next General Election, could I point out that we did pay for an advert in the LEADER & you carried it in the two issues prior to the issue in which you ran the headline “YOUR VOTE COUNTS”.
They were not huge advertisements as we could not afford a great full page splash so we were grateful for the headline you printed once we knew who the short-listed candidates were.
As Secretary of the Mablethorpe, Trusthorpe, Sutton-on-Sea & Sandilands Branch of the Conservative Association, I did go around putting up posters advertising the Open Primary and although Telegraph Poles proved co-operative, I know very well that shop-keepers and even public libraries think twice about displaying political adverts. We are not, mercifully, like some flag-waving nations…. Political change is a far more discreet process in this country; but it is still important for all democratic parties to re-engage with the electorate: and the idea of holding an Open Primary was I believe a step in this direction.
In the event, at the meeting members of the general public outnumbered paid up Conservatives, and, because the winning candidate had to have 51% of the vote, there had to be three ballots (with the candidate scoring lowest being eliminated each time) before we arrived at a result ~ so every vote did literally count.
We now have in Victoria Atkins a candidate who will, I know, both impress and charm, and prove a worthy and conscientious successor to Sir Peter Tapsell.
In the meantime it is still open to DMG & others to influence the way our country is governed by taking an active part in our political life whichever party they choose to support. In Mablethorpe we meet each month in the Conservative Club to discuss particular issues both locally & nationally & those interested in joining us can contact us via the office in Louth on 01507 603 713, leaving a message if the phone is unattended.
Prebendary Adrian Benjamin
on behalf of the Mablethorpe Conservative Branch