Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The "Undecided"

One of the most significant features of the current electoral campaign are the undecided voters (who are not shown at all in the latest GBC poll) , without diminishing the significance of the voters who will vote blank.  

The  group who will vote blank are exercising a democratic right.  Others have written about the ineffectiveness in reality of voting blank.  I will limit myself to urging them to think about their intentions carefully.  A blank vote really send only a message of disaffection: that message falls on deaf ears, unless those who are disaffected engage as candidates with a view to changing the system against which they are rebelling. I have done precisely that: I will try my hardest to change and improve the system in manner that will reduce the confrontation that exists in politics and Parliament today.  It will be a slow process but it has to be started and once started, hopefully, it will progress to fruition in a good place.  

I am sure undecided and blank voters have a view on the power plant, on the stadium or on public debt or on some other area of policy. Blank voters should consider exercising their right to vote for people who share their view, even if it is on one issue.  The undecided have an easier task because they will decide and vote. Each group should remember that if the power plant and/or stadium is built in the wrong location, it will remain in the wrong location for decades. If our public finances are mismanaged to the point of our debt not being affordable, the repercussions for Gibraltar especially, in light of our issues with Spain, do not bear thinking about. 

I would urge the undecided to carefully consider policies but also to carefully consider the vision of each party.  The GSD has a vision of care, prudence, fairness, transparency and openness.  The GSLP have reverted to their opaque past, pretending, for example, to be fair and open when the reality shows that they hide a substantial part of the public debt and refuse to answer questions in Parliament.  The GSLP reality is also that they stampeded onwards with a project like the power station at North Mole without the necessary safety reports and without following the  processes required by law to be followed. For example,  public consultation required by law has not taken place.  What is the purpose of a legally required public consultation if contracts have already been signed and construction has started?  It will simply be a cynical process.  It displays the same cynicism that the GSLP display towards everyone about everything.  I could go on but I think I make the point.

The GSLP keep reminding everyone of situations that they consider to be past mistakes of the GSD without reminding anyone of the great things that were achieved for Gibraltar by the GSD in its 4 terms of office.  Well that argument about alleged past mistakes does not justify their own failures: for example, to build a car park under Commonwealth Park or two stories on Laguna and Glacis Estate as well as the roofing, to provide greater democracy and to do away with corruption and 'enchufes' by setting up an anti-corruption body.  That argument made by the GSLP is an admission of their own wrongs because two wrongs do not make a right!

I believe that people should vote.  I believe that the undecided are undecided because they are unhappy with the GSLP Government.  I would urge them to go and vote and obviously to vote for the GSD but importantly to  exercise their democratic right to vote.  After all, now, that same democratic vote means so much more:  ever since the GSD achieved the major advances with the 2006 Constitution, our Parliament has so much more power that can be used by the right people for the benefit of Gibraltar.  Make sure that this enlarged power is used constructively and works for Gibraltar by voting for the careful, prudent and democratic GSD vision.

1 comment:

  1. This makes sense, unless you take into consideration policies that either, both parties support, or policies both parties ignore.

    Blank voting comes for a variety of reasons.