The postal voted are hitting the doormat, its election time again. This time to choose the new Labour Party leader.
The preferred voting system is the Alternative Vote (AV) system. Which in essence means you have the opportunity to rank your preferences in order, from 1 (most preferred) to 5. Note that I said you have the opportunity, you don;t have to. You can just vote for your No. 1, your top 2, rank them all, or anything in-between. Apparently Ed Milliband has been highlighted as saying you have to rank them all, this is not the case.
So, that leaves us with the question about who to vote for. I have canvassed a lot of peoples thoughts on this, as well as my own opinion.
I can very easily put Ed Balls at the bottom of my list, his handling of the Home Ed debacle really makes it personal, but also it highlighted his inability to listen and take other opinions into account, an essential quality for a leader, and also I don’t think his attitudes are what we need at the despatch box, fencing with Cameron.
Andy Burnham comes second for me. He has made the effort to visit Gloucester during the election (so did Ed Balls) and he is saying the right things about the NHS etc, but in the Raoul Moat issue, (the day we voted as a CLP) he came out as agreeing with David Cameron, in that the Facebook group which pronounced him (Moat) as a legend should be taken down etc. To my mind, this is a gross invasion of freedom of speech. We may not like to hear what was said, but people have a right to say it, and that is one of my main reasons why he is not number one. There are more, like he is making such a big deal about coming from a grass roots background, which in itself is not a bad thing, its just becoming a broken record. However is is number two because I respect the opinions of my CLP colleagues and their arguments and discussions have convinced me that he is a strong second.
My number 1 is David Milliband. I think he has the right experience, he is quick enough to “box” with Cameron, and also be a good PM should things go right. He has also talked a lot about not just getting votes, but increasing party Membership which is an issue close to my heart.
So, when I get home, unless something happens in the next 24 hours to change my mind, then that’s my choice. (Maybe I need to ready Tony Blairs book first?)
Having the leadership announcement at the conference is going to make attending it even more special. Though, while I’m very excited about attending, I am reliably informed that paying to go for the whole conference out of my own pocket may be a bit too enthusiastic…