Tuesday, 4 May 2010

East Dunbartonshire Candidates

In East Dunbartonshire, we donot have an SSP candidate. Some of us have to make a choice between parties we would not normally vote for. The SSP do not have a “line” on who to ask you to vote, but would say that you should consider your vote very carefully. With this in mind, I asked all of the candidates the same question, “Why should Scottish Socialist Party members give their vote to you?”

Three parties responded. These responses are below.

One SSP Campsie member has written an article saying how he will vote. This can be found on his blog HERE.

2005 results HERE

Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are fighting for fairness. Wealth inequality has risen under Labour. Lib Dems would raise the income tax threshold to £10,000, helping those on low and ordinary incomes with £700 a year. This would be paid for by a mansion tax on properties above £2million, taxing capital gains in the same way as income, and clamping down on tax avoidance. We would invest an additional £2.5billion in early years education, targeted at the poorest children. We will clean up our rotten political system, and introduce fair votes. We will break up the banks to separate the high-risk casino banking from tightly-regulated high-street banking, with a cap on bankers’ bonuses of £2500. Locally, I have been an approachable and active MP. If you think I have done a good job, and you like the Lib Dems’ message of fairness, please vote for me on Thursday.

Mary Galbraith, Labour
Thanks for giving me the chance to respond in this way to your members, some of whom I met in Kirkintilloch on Saturday.

Your web-site highlights three aspects of your credo: “Socialism”, “Independence” and “Internationalism”, displayed prominently on the home page. I believe that the Labour party is more – much more – interested these issues than any of the other parties standing in East Dunbartonshire. Let me give you a couple of examples for each:

• We have an excellent record in taking families, particularly those with children, out of poverty.
• Our manifesto commitment is to protect assistance for families, such as Working Families Tax Credits, and help our elder citizens by re-establishing the link between earnings and pensions.
• Following the introduction of the mimimum wage some years ago - resisted by all the other parties standing in the seat - we seek to strenghten its operation, and increase its value.
• We plan to cut less, and tax more, than other parties.

• After many years and failed attempts to deliver devolution, the Labour Party put in place the Scottish Parliament.
• The next Labour Government would give the Scottish Parliament increased tax raising powers.

• The Labour Party has displayed leadership on the international stage in fighting climate change and world poverty
• We will spend 0.7% of national income on aid by 2014

I cannot speak for any of the other parties, but I do not think that any of them can come close to matching the Labour Party’s achievements and ambitions on your three priorities. I would therefore encourage members of the Scottish Socialist Party to vote for the Labour Party in this constituency, and in those other seats where the SSP does not have a candidate of its own.

Iain R White, SNP
The reasons why your members, and indeed anyone, should vote for the SNP, is that we are the only party to stand up for Scotland. If you read the literature of the other parties, none even mention Scotland as they are all written in London and the candidates name added locally.

The SNP (myself included) believe in supporting those less well off in society. We believe in supporting business, particularly small businesses, which generate the money to pay for these benefits. I believe that pensions are far too low and welcome the SNP commitment to indexing to earnings.

I will be happy to discuss any other issues in as much detail as you want (or I can manage), but hope that his will suffice for now.

No comments: