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My vote in the presidential election

That is, in the election for the post of President of the UK Liberal Democrats, of which I have been a member since the party was founded in 1988.

The two candidates are Simon Hughes and Lembit Öpik, both members of parliament, both of whom I have met. Simon has been an MP since the astonishing 1983 Bermondsey by-election, Lembit since the 1997 general election. Simon is clearly the more "establishment" candidate, with 90-odd big names backing him, including several people I'm personally friendly with like Chris Davies MEP, Baroness Falkner, Baroness Ludford MEP, and Neil Sherlock. Lembit has only about a third as many endorsements (at least in the freebie literature circulated to all party members), but they include two people I've been very close to in the past, David Howarth and Ben Rich. Simon's policy agenda is awfully slight and includes much usage of the word "build". Lembit points to his personal record in human resources development. The one strike against Lembit is that he flaunts his fianceé, TV weather forecaster Siân Lloyd, as if to point up the fact that Simon is still a "bachelor" at the age of 53. However, for various reasons (not least the fact that he grew up in Northern Ireland) I still like Lembit better and am casting my vote for him. I expect Simon will win though.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 23rd, 2004 12:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm voting for Lembit, too.
Aug. 23rd, 2004 01:38 pm (UTC)
Lembit Öpik definitely has the cooler name.
Aug. 23rd, 2004 03:21 pm (UTC)
Please forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is the role of the President of the party?
Aug. 24th, 2004 10:46 pm (UTC)
Formal role is to chair meetings of the party's Federal Executive Committee. Also seem as a possible internal troubleshooter and an extra personality for public appearances (though of course both candidates this year have a public profile already). Liberator interviews the two candidates about it here.
Aug. 24th, 2004 11:56 am (UTC)
Ah I recognise the name Simon Hughes, I am sure he was a candidate in an election I voted in. Was he standing to be an MEP at the last European elections?
Aug. 24th, 2004 10:34 pm (UTC)
No, but he did run for Mayor of London earlier this year when Ken Livingstone was re-elected.
Aug. 25th, 2004 02:52 am (UTC)
Ah right, I don't know why I have heard of him then I took no interest in the mayoral elections.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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