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Published on February 15th, 2010 | by The Editor
Image © Jamie Saddler Phew! The end of another successful week on the campaign trail that saw me get round most of the constituency at one time or another – I was out delivering leaflets in Clatterbridge and Bromborough, knocking on doors in Eastham and Heswall, and visited the wonderful Wirral Farmers Market in New Ferry on Saturday. I even managed to get some decent press coverage in the Daily Post and Liverpool Echo. Whilst life as a candidate is enjoyable and rewarding, it’s pretty hectic! And from now on it’s only going to get busier. With just 80 days left until polling day, campaigners and voters alike are gearing up for one of the biggest elections in modern memory. And I’m no different. There’s a lot to play for here in Wirral South. Labour hold the seat, but with the MP standing down over expenses, and their local base in tatters, it’s increasingly looking like a fight between the Tories and the Lib Dems, as it is at local level in the seat. We’ve got a good base to build on, and we’re fighting hard. Talking to people on the doorstep, you can tell a lot of them feel let down by Labour, and have been left speechless by the whole expenses saga. You can’t blame them really. We’ve just been through the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression; the bankers who got us into this mess are raking in millions in bonuses; our political system is broken; we’re fighting an unpopular war; our troops are being paid pittance; the gap between rich and poor is now wider than under Margaret Thatcher, and in some of the poorer areas of the country, just 3% of kids get 5 good GCSEs. Life in modern Britain is simply not fair. I want to help change that. Starting with the tax system. Millions of people up and down the country are struggling in the current financial climate, and they are predominantly low and middle-income earners. They feel they’ve been left behind, and are saying to themselves,”The bankers got their bailout - Where’s mine?” These people deserve a break, and that’s why the Liberal Democrats are proposing to make the first £10,000 you earn tax free. This would lift millions of low-income earners, and pensioners out of the tax system completely, and provide a tax cut of £700 a year to the vast majority. We would pay for this by closing loopholes on the rich, and introducing a tax on mansions worth over £2m. I also want a fair deal for our troops, which is why two weeks ago, I launched my own campaign to fight for a fair wage for all of our soldiers on the front line. Currently a new recruit in the army is paid £6,000 less than a new recruit in the fire service or police. My Dad was in the RAF for many years, and I take the issue of armed services welfare very seriously. With signatures for the petition coming back in ever greater numbers, it seems local people agree with me, and I’m hoping we can use this display of support to put a bit more pressure on the government to treat our troops with the respect they deserve. Over the next few weeks I’ll be taking our message of fairness all over the constituency. I have more action days planned, I’ll be knocking on more doors, delivering more leaflets, and visiting schools and community organisations right across the constituency. It’s hard work, but I’m enjoying every minute of it! I’m a Wirral lad, and care passionately about the area, and the people who live here. I couldn’t think of anything that would make me prouder than representing Wirral South on those green benches in Parliament. Hopefully the hard work will pay off come May! (Photo courtesy Jamie Saddler)

It would appear that democracy has been dealt a heavy blow by allowing discrimination to become a key element of how representatives are elected.  Even if we were to believe that the outcome of positive discrimination is beneficial, in a system where we value due process, should we ever endorse a method of selecting candidates that is oxymoronic to the very nature of democracy? Our political system relies on choice. Imposing all women shortlist removes voter’s choice. Regardless of how voters select their representative, we should respect an individual’s right to chose. Without a full choice of candidates we being to embrace dictatorial methods, tainting the results regardless of how legitimate they may appear. All women shortlists simply allow discrimination by the back door. Should anyone suggest all male shortlists there would be public outcry. Arguments for female equality reek of hypocrisy if we are prepared to allow men to face the same oppression with a respectable facade. By preventing male candidates from standing we risk suppressing people who may be best for the job. A fair playing field where both male and female candidates compete against one another will ensure that the best person prevails, not the best women or the best man. To select a candidate merely because they are women not only does a disservice to our political system. It is a disservice to women who are selected. People should be judged by their merits. Politicians should be judged by their words and their actions. On these grounds we can hold the people who represent us accountable. We cannot hold someone to account simply for being a woman. For those candidates who do make their way to the House of Commons, they should be able to feel a sense of pride in their achievement. But who can honestly feel proud to be selected simply because of their gender. To allow all women shortlists, we dismiss female candidates as being unable to compete fairly, we reinforce stereotypes that women are in need of help and quite simply we patronise them. As women prove themselves to be just as capable as men, the numbers of female MPs should theoretically be equal to those of male MPs. Change is often slow. But that does not mean that forcing such changes would be better. Positive discrimination is damaging to voters, damaging to the women themselves and crucially damages democracy.

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Young PPCs, week 3: Jamie Saddler

Jamie Saddler

Phew! The end of another successful week on the campaign trail that saw me get round most of the
constituency at one time or another – I was out delivering leaflets in Clatterbridge and Bromborough, knocking on doors in Eastham and Heswall, and visited the wonderful Wirral Farmers Market in New Ferry on Saturday. I even managed to get some decent press coverage in the Daily Post and Liverpool Echo. Whilst life as a candidate is enjoyable and rewarding, it’s pretty hectic!

And from now on it’s only going to get busier. With just 80 days left until polling day, campaigners and
voters alike are gearing up for one of the biggest elections in modern memory. And I’m no different. There’s a lot to play for here in Wirral South. Labour hold the seat, but with the MP standing down over expenses, and their local base in tatters, it’s increasingly looking like a fight between the Tories and the Lib Dems, as it is at local level in the seat. We’ve got a good base to build on, and we’re fighting hard. Talking to people on the doorstep, you can tell a lot of them feel let down by Labour, and have been left speechless by
the whole expenses saga. You can’t blame them really. We’ve just been through the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression; the bankers who got us into this mess are raking in millions in bonuses; our political system is broken; we’re fighting an unpopular war; our troops are being paid pittance; the gap between rich and poor is now wider than under Margaret Thatcher, and in some of the poorer areas of the country, just 3% of kids get 5 good GCSEs. Life in modern Britain is simply not fair. I want to help change that. Starting with the tax system.

Millions of people up and down the country are struggling in the current financial climate, and they are predominantly low and middle-income earners. They feel they’ve been left behind, and are saying to themselves,”The bankers got their bailout – Where’s mine?” These people deserve a break, and that’s why the Liberal Democrats are proposing to make the first £10,000 you earn tax free. This would lift millions of low-income earners, and pensioners out of the tax system completely, and provide a tax cut of £700 a year to the vast majority. We would pay for this by
closing loopholes on the rich, and introducing a tax on mansions worth over £2m.

I also want a fair deal for our troops, which is why two weeks ago, I launched my own campaign to fight for a fair wage for all of our soldiers on the front line. Currently a new recruit in the army is paid £6,000 less than a new recruit in the fire service or police. My Dad was in the RAF for many years, and I take the issue of armed services welfare very seriously. With signatures for the petition coming back in ever greater numbers, it seems local people agree with me, and I’m hoping we can use this display of support to put a bit more pressure on the government to
treat our troops with the respect they deserve.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be taking our message of fairness all over the constituency. I have more action days planned, I’ll be knocking on more doors, delivering more leaflets, and visiting schools and community organisations right across the constituency. It’s hard work, but I’m enjoying every minute of it! I’m a Wirral lad, and care passionately about the area, and the people who live here. I couldn’t think of anything that would make me prouder than representing Wirral South on those green benches in Parliament. Hopefully the hard work will pay off come May!

(Photo courtesy Jamie Saddler)

It would appear that democracy
has been dealt a heavy blow by allowing discrimination to become a key
element of how representatives are elected.  Even if we were to
believe that the outcome of positive discrimination is beneficial, in
a system where we value due process, should we ever endorse a method
of selecting candidates that is oxymoronic to the very nature of democracy?

Our political system relies
on choice. Imposing all women shortlist removes voter’s choice. Regardless
of how voters select their representative, we should respect an individual’s
right to chose. Without a full choice of candidates we being to embrace
dictatorial methods, tainting the results regardless of how legitimate
they may appear.

All women shortlists simply
allow discrimination by the back door. Should anyone suggest all male
shortlists there would be public outcry. Arguments for female equality
reek of hypocrisy if we are prepared to allow men to face the same oppression
with a respectable facade. By preventing male candidates from standing
we risk suppressing people who may be best for the job. A fair playing
field where both male and female candidates compete against one another
will ensure that the best person prevails, not the best women or the
best man.

To select a candidate merely
because they are women not only does a disservice to our political system.
It is a disservice to women who are selected. People should be judged
by their merits. Politicians should be judged by their words and their
actions. On these grounds we can hold the people who represent us accountable.
We cannot hold someone to account simply for being a woman. For those
candidates who do make their way to the House of Commons, they should
be able to feel a sense of pride in their achievement. But who can honestly
feel proud to be selected simply because of their gender. To allow all
women shortlists, we dismiss female candidates as being unable to compete
fairly, we reinforce stereotypes that women are in need of help and
quite simply we patronise them.

As women prove themselves to
be just as capable as men, the numbers of female MPs should theoretically
be equal to those of male MPs. Change is often slow. But that does not
mean that forcing such changes would be better. Positive discrimination
is damaging to voters, damaging to the women themselves and crucially
damages democracy.

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