It’s called GOTV or Get Out the Vote. It is classic party machine politics that makes voters think Hutt v England is the only choice, our own Clinton v Trump. Voters see hundreds of signs, think this is the best I can do? And… stay home. There is a third way.
This is The Monday Line
by Denis G. Campbell
The clock is ticking.
From right now, 69 frenzied hours remain until polls open Thursday morning at 7 am. At that point it will be a 15-hour race to the finish line as each party tries to outdo the other with their GOTV (Get Out The Vote) technology and strategy.
Over the next four days the media may or may not cover the serial ‘slagging-off’ parties do against the other as all attacks will go into relentless overdrive. But four parties are on the ballot with the top two and thus this should be an interesting day if… everyone ignores the ‘white political noise’ and focuses on finding ‘the real signal.’
As a political pundit turned candidate, this past year has been an ‘experience.’ That word is in quotation marks because of my oft used business refrain: “When a person with money meets a person with experience, the person with experience ends up with the money and the person with the money… ends up with an ‘experience.’”
Let’s say, I learned this cycle WHY the old adage is still true: too many good, talented people do not go into politics because of the craziness when forced to live in the belly of this beast. The irony is, we need them now more than ever to clean up the mess 17-years of ‘politics as usual’ by the two major parties created.
The other party says, “it’s our turn…” after driving the UK economy into the ditch in Westminster. The current leaders say, “trust, us, we know what we are doing.”
Whilst I would not trade a second of the last year for anything, there were many times where I had to hold my nose and bite my tongue. Regular readers and podcast viewers know how Herculean a task that was. Win or lose, this campaign for me is about the people of The Vale of Glamorgan I met every day on the doorstep. As ‘Walkin’ Denis.’ I visited more than 15,000 homes in four months and had in excess of 3,000 conversations.
While others spent many tens of thousands of pounds on mailers and printed materials, signs and events, I spent about £600 out of my own pocket for brochures, ink paper and Facebook adverts. While others spent five years raising money, I collected no donations for one reason. This campaign had to be free from any financial influence and about the people of The Vale, not party, political or other interests. Those with huge campaign warchests also now have donors who expect their attention when it is needed.
I was in this for the people of The Vale. My friends called me the ‘Welsh Bernie Sanders.’ I can live with that name, fighting for those without a voice, although Senator Elizabeth Warren is my real hero for this campaign speech (below) and continued fighting for reform.
‘Pay it Forward’ vs. ‘Take it Forward’
The only certainty I’ve seen in this election is this: the fear of losing a £64,000 job with a pension of £40K+ per year plus many expenses paid, has a horrible stench and creates ruthless opportunists. Across Wales it created a class of individual who both desire it solely for that reason and would kill to keep it. They exist in every party and at every internal and external level. People who cannot tell you why they want to keep their job, just ‘stay out of my way as I fight to keep it.’
Too, I remember a time when ‘shape-shifting’ was a horror movie term. I’ve watched people of all parties and at all levels (often within the same 90-minute hustings meeting before the same audience) shift their position 180 degrees and then deny they did it.
Undecided Voters Will Determine the Outcome
Voters have six parties to choose from on Thursday. So many on the doorstep are undecided, so we will see.
I tell people when they ask me why I decided to forego my usual media income to join a party and stand for election… “four years ago I fought with every ounce of strength against hydraulic fracturing or fracking in the Vale. I did this for my pre-teen kids’ future. I wanted to be able to look them in the eye and say I did EVERYTHING in my power to stop this insanity.” I knew I could, after we got the moratorium in The Vale then across Wales.
They will soon exit school and our economy is in a shambles. I stood to change that for the same reason. I intend to work tirelessly to bring businesses, jobs and growth to Wales, like we did in Miami. We need a real public-private partnership as opposed to for-show bureaus and agencies that create flashy websites and videos but could not sell their way out of a paper bag.
You fix austerity cuts by growing the nation’s top-line. When there is growth the rest of the problems get solved. When there is stagnation, you die a slow and lingering death of 1,000 cuts.
I am standing for growth and optimism. I would like your vote and will work my tail off to deserve it after 05 May.