Guest blogpost time again. This post is from the grand fromage of Paisley.org, general promoter of all things Buddie and candidate in the recent council elections, Brian McGuire. Here's his story from the inside of that campaign.
I was a candidate for the 2017 council elections, unfortunately, due to the way the name (alphabetical) and 3 of our same party on the ballot sheet I knew from the start it would be a struggle but in the early days I was positive. I stood for election because I have the best interests of my area at heart.
Campaigning is done in what is called VMS (Voter Management Strategy) i.e the person who is the councillor gets less of the ward to canvass and leaflet the person whos name alphabetically suits gets around the same sometimes more sometimes less, on this occasion I was given 57% of houses to canvass, leaflet, newsletter and then send out an election address.
A monumental task considering the thousands of houses I had to deliver to.
The first part is canvassing chapping doors and seeing if they would support you, I had a fantastic response on the doors, which within a week sort of became weird as Nicola Sturgeon spoke about IndyRef2 which got voters who were voting a bit mixed up with national and local issues, once local issues were explained the public were back on track.
I never came across any person who was rude and actually knew tons of people who in the constituency knew me through the work I already do.. So the feeling was high.
Then Theresa May decided a snap election would take place and the environment of friendliness changed people became disenchanted and fed up of elections, bear in mind all this happened within just a few weeks. So it was now Unionist against Nationalist, The Prime Minister and her media bandwagon got going and Scotland again was the weaker nation in her and her cabinets eyes, how dare we want to go alone, get back in your place Scotland.
The mainstream media changed people's perceptions and from that point onwards it was a struggle.
The campaign was successful for our group overall but not for myself but I will continue to stick up for the town via my paisley.org.k website.
I wont be put off doing it in the future but they have to come up with a better way of randomising names, the best people for the job are being beaten if your surname ends with an alphabetically correct name. McGuire was near the bottom of the list and I could hardly see myself let alone anyone else.
I wish the new council administration all the very best and I am sure they will have the area at heart.