Summary

Some new faces standing for election – which is a good thing

Phil Rodgers summarised them in the table below

Note that there are two fewer seats than in 2013 due to the Boundary Commission reductions. A stupid decision because now the seats for the city and county councils no longer match, which will confuse voters. Again, my preference is for a single council for Cambridge and the surrounding rural districts.

Phil’s examination of the last set of Cambridgeshire County Council election results in 2013 is here. Since then, the collapse of the Lib Dems has reached its trough and the party is beginning to bounce back on the back of the EU Referendum result and also of the Labour Party’s problems at a national level. Former councillor Colin Rosenstiel has done some number-crunching to work out which bits of the old wards moved into the new ones.

I’m not going to make a place-by-place prediction – I’ll leave that to the gentlemen above. With a number of incumbent councillors standing down, we will inevitably have new faces representing the city in a month’s time.

Getting your party’s candidate details up on Democracy Club’s database

Simply do a county search at https://candidates.democracyclub.org.uk/posts

Democracy Club is being funded by the Electoral Commission (See here) to help ensure voters have access to all of the candidates standing for election in their neighbourhood.

Democracy – it’s not a spectator sport

In Cambridge, there are four parties standing full slates of candidates:

Even if you don’t intend on voting, just for curiosity’s sake please have a look around their websites to find out who would want to put themselves up for election to public office – one of the most abused posts in humanity. (As Bruce Waldron who chaired the Sawston hustings for Cambridgeshire/Peterborough mayor said).

Videos of candidates

I’m filming free intro videos for candidates standing in and around Cambridge for the county council elections on 04 May. The playlist so far looks like this:

Video playlist – in the top left is the number count of candidates’ videos I have uploaded.

In return, I ask candidates and their supporters to help contribute to my filming costs


Donate

“Please donate to my filming (and living) costs in the course of bringing democracy to people’s desktops!” (Click on the button above-left).

Local neighbourhood hustings

The Cambridge Cycling Campaign had theirs earlier.

You can watch representatives from the Greens, Labour and the Liberal Democrats deal with cycling and public transport issues in Cambridge.

Video and social media won’t completely replace face-to-face campaigning

One of the things I’ve found over the past decade or so using social media is that people’s interactions online are very different if they have met face-to-face.  If anything, social media breeds familiarity. You become familiar with an individual’s tone and manner – to the extent it helps you judge whether media stories about them are true or not. Important in this current climate.

That said…video can work for you while you are asleep

That’s not to say you’ll suddenly get thousands of views and a new fan base. They will only get as many views as you and your party are prepared to share and publicise. And let’s face it, collectively our political and democratic institutions collectively have been slow to realise the potential of social media despite some excellent individual case studies.

One thing I’d really like to see in these local election campaigns are some candidates demonstrating expert synchronisation and co-ordination of what they do offline with online – to the extent it is the difference between getting elected and not getting elected. My guess is that it’ll only be once this happens that we start seeing social media in Cambridge’s local democracy come of age.

Original source – A dragon’s best friend

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