Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Voting for Tim Farron

I wrote a while back that I was likely to vote for Tim Farron in the election of the next President of the Lib Dems. Having perused the candidates' election leaflets, I see no reason to change my mind. Indeed, the two elections are so similar - straight out of the ALDC school of QuarkXPress - that it's rather easy to compare and contrast and to see that Tim basically has the harder edge. For example, take the "3 reasons to vote for me" given by each candidate:
Susan Kramer Tim Farron
1) Susan will work to keep our party strong, unified, distinctive and try to its core beliefs. 1) Tim is a campaigner with a track record of winning against the odds. He took a safe Tory seat and converted it into the highest Lib Dem vote share on the UK mainland.
2) Susan will listen to you, take your views and ideas to the party leadership and get answers. 2) Tim listens to the voice of grassroots members. He is best placed to make sure that the leadership and ministers listen to you.
3) Susan will travel up and down the country supporting your local Lib Dem campaigns. 3) Tim is an outstanding communicator with the media and public. He will get across the positive messages about the distinctiveness of the Liberal Democrats.
It is notable that all three of Susan Kramer's statements are in the future tense, while Tim Farron starts with the past, moves to the present and switches to the future only halfway through the third point. It's also notable that the future tense statements are all pretty woolly, and you would have to wonder why any candidate thought any of them was actually worth making as part of staking out your own ground. Note also that while the second of the three points is very similar for both candidates, Tim edges it by a) putting it in the present tense and b) pointing out that as an MP he has easier day-to-day access to the leadership.

That's all a matter of style, I suppose. On substance, Susan Kramer has more (though not a lot more) to say about using the position of President to service the party membership, and Tim Farron is crystal clear that he sees the role as another potential public platform for a senior Lib Dem to use. If I were more active in the party, perhaps I would have a sense of things going wrong that Susan Kramer could fix, but I'm not so I don't; and my ballot goes off with an X in the Farron box.
Tags: lib dems
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