I have blogged before about the up-coming European elections and how the North West promises to be an interesting political battle ground in the lead up to the elections.
In that blog I concluded that the Lib Dems are going to have to fight pretty hard to keep their one MEP in the region.
There current MEP and lead-candidate for up-coming European parliament elections, Chris Davies MEP, has done himself and his party no favours by commenting on the Lord Rennard sexual assault scandal saying:
“This is the equivalent of a few years ago, an Italian man pinching a woman’s bottom. How much more must this man be made to suffer …”
If this wasn’t amazing enough he then went onto pledge financial support to Rennard:
This doesn’t surprise me (as highlighted by Open Democracy, Lib Dems have a certain attachment to Rennard) but this does sadden me on a number of levels.
Firstly, it disappoints me to see a representative of a party set up around the principle of respect for others exhibit such overt sexism in response to alleged sexual assaults.
Secondly, the Liberal Democrats internationalism and general approach to the EU probably sits closet to my own view. I think more Lib Dems in the European Parliament is generally a good things. I think this might be the final nail in their coffin in the North West for these elections.
And of course other parties have not missed this. Peter Cranie, the lead candidate for The Green Party, has today blogged calling for all those (L)liberals to consider an alternative Green vote. In his words:
“Liberal Democrat activists in the North West who have been deeply disappointed by their MEP’s response to this issue are left with a very difficult choice. Vote for their party but re-elect a politician who will earn a Euro salary for five years and contribute towards the legal fees of Lord Rennard, not vote or vote for an alternative.”
Even if Lib Dems don’t chose this Green alternative the numbers turning to Labour or simply not turning up to the ballot box in disgust might well be enough to lose the Lib Dems there one MEP for the region.