Pah! Or at least it would have been had there been space at the bottom.
I went to vote about 8-ish without being sure how I would vote. In the end, there were several questions which the competing candidates completely failed to answer.
Firstly, this is elections for the European Parliament. Yet none of the key players were able to expand on vague unsubstantiated sound-bites regarding the key question of why we should vote for your party. The New Labour (outgoing) MEP Catherine Stihler gave the pledge that (New) Labour would stand up for Scotland and for Scottish jobs. Well New Labour did a fantastic job with the closure of the Compaq/Hewlet Packard facility didn’t they, and how fantastic a job have they done standing up for our fishermen?
Those points aside, and this was a claim made by the Tories, the SNP and the Lib Dem’s, it wasn’t explained how Scottish jobs were to be defended. I’m sure that these points would be explained in the election literature… except as I have been reporting I only received propaganda from the unholy trinity of the BNP, UKIP and the Tories. I might be wrong but I don’t remember any town centre hustings in Paisley either. And, despite what candidates tell you about what is said canvassing people on the doorstep, I have never EVER had a candidate come to my door. Swimps. The job of candidates is to promote and explain their policies in the hope of being elected. In this respect, the Scottish candidates have been singularly useless at this part of the job.
In exasperation, I turned to the EU profiler, which suggested I vote Green, probably down to my mild euro-sceptisism. I might have done, were it not for their thoroughly patronising reasons for various airport taxes.
Of course, this is no ordinary election campaign thanks in no small measure to the Daily Torygraph’s expose of the fraud and criminal activity related to MP’s expenses. In the light of the moats, the duck-ponds and the “flipping”, it is incredible to think that the European Parliament has the scope to be an even bigger gravy train than Westminster. That would be the (unlikely given the secrecy of the place) mother of all scoops. The backpedalling from various candidates has been astounding, with several revealing that they would put their expenses on-line from now on if elected. For those who were in the last parliament, what’s wrong with revealing your expenses going back to 2004?
The main question I asked myself before voting is thus. Can I trust this party to deliver (on their promises) and not to join in with the snouts in the trough culture in Brussels & Strasbourg? The answer I came to was no.
Before any candidate or politician complains about apathy or low voter turnout, they should think about what they did to remedy this. When thinking about that, they should also think about whether we will be able to trust a single word that they say ever again.