Tag Archives: how to win an election

3 simple things the Green Party can do before the next election

The Green Party has a list of progressive policies that have been shown to be the most popular with the electorate. Despite this they have consistently failed to perform well elections.

Here are 3 simple things The Green Party could do to increase their chance of success in the up-coming May 2014 European elections:

1) Talk about issues that important to the electorate

This doesn’t mean selling out on core principles of social justice and environmentalism but simply relating them to ordinary people’s concerns and hopes.

At the top of this list (at the moment at least) has to be the economy but issues around immigration, unemployment and the NHS should all be regular features of their messaging.


Note: The environment does not appear in the top 10.

2) Start thinking in terms of ‘voter’s feelings’ rather than policy outcomes

As I have argued elsewhere, UKIP have been soaring in the recent polls exactly because they have been able to install a general feeling amongst the electorate (despite having next to no coherent policies) about ‘standing up for Britain’.

The Green Party stands in complete contrast to UKIP in this sense – great policies but no one really knows what they stand for.

Over the coming couple of months then I hope to hear Greens talking, not about policies such ‘The Financial Transaction Tax’ or even the ‘Robin Hood Tax’, but instead about ‘principles’ such as ‘standing up for a fairer economy that puts people before big business.

3) Be bold, be seen as pro-EU

The Green Party has traditionally held quite a complex position on the EU. They opposed the UK joining the euro for example but support membership of the EU. They want an in/out referendum but are broadly an internationalist party.

In this election though The Green Party need to simplify their message to just ‘Yes to Europe, Yes to a referendum’. (this is one yes less than their current messaging). Why?

Well, for the first time in a long-time it looks like those who want to stay in the EU roughly match those who want to leave. The only difference is electorally if you pitch for the broadly pro-EU voters you only have the Lib Dems to compete against (opposed to the much better branded ‘No’ to EU UKIP).

There is a reason why the Lib Dems are branding themselves as the party of IN and that is because there are a lot of uncontested voters who strongly want the UK to stay part of the EU.

EU referendum
Oh and of course it doesn’t hurt to be seen to be trusting the electorate to make their own decisions (something which Labour have ruled out by all but ruling out a referendum)

Of course none of this replaces the basics in campaigning, the building up local parties, delivering leaflets etc etc. All it does is offer a few tips for what direction The Green Party need to be moving in. 


Filed under EU politics, Politics

How to win an election – Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov style

Picking up an cool 97.14% of vote in the recent Presidential elections, newly re-elected President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov must be pretty pleased with his election campaign. I can only begin to imagine the hours spent knocking on doors, folding leaflets and touring the country to get such a remarkable return.

Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan was quick to congratulate Mr Berdimuhamedov on his re-election wishing him “good health, happiness and continued success in his state activities as well as welfare and prosperity to the friendly people of Turkmenistan”. Aliyev’s view of “continued welfare and prosperity” of the Turkmen people seems to slightly vary however from that of independent human rights organisations.

Amnesty International commented on the elections by saying, “Serious human rights violations such as torture and ill-treatment continue to be committed in detention facilities and severe restrictions remain on freedom of movement and expression, political activism, faith and many other fundamental rights”

You can get the picture of the situation from this briefing paper Amnesty International compiled.

Either way, the unaccountable leader was re-elected with an incredible 97.14%. I wonder whether it niggles at him that the his predecessor, President for life Saparmurad Niyazov (aka Turkmenbashi) was elected with 99.5% of the vote in 1992?

I suspect that Berdimuhamedov will hold up the fact that 7 people stood against him in an election as a sign of reform. The fact that all 7 men were close allies of the President and did not once speak out against his oppressive and dictatorial regime is a mere detail.

So if you are hitting the campaign trail anytime soon, follow these simple rules:

  • Ban international monitoring missions
  • Only allow your most loyal friends and colleagues to stand against you
  • Implement a brutal and repressive regime that will use force and fear to ensure absolute control.

An easy 1,2,3 to election success – Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov style.

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Filed under Central Asia, Human rights, Politics