After our last contest, I noted that the process was somewhat limited, and prevented a proper dialogue between the candidates and the members. Now I may be being unduly pessimistic here, but how in the name of God are candidates going to be able to organise campaign teams and really reach out to the members in a period of, effectively, six weeks at the most?
So, just in case the message didn't get home the first time, what I want to see is:
- access to the membership lists for the campaign teams
- something more than one side of A4 so that I can find out more about them
- an e-hustings so that I can elicit some meaningful answers
- access to podcasts and the like, so that I can see the whites of their eyes
That requires a little time, and the notion that declaring a winner a week before Christmas is, being generous, unlikely to draw huge attention when most people are thinking about Christmas, not politics, nor will it allow candidates to develop a 'personality' and a narrative.
Might it not be better to run the process more slowly, announce a winner in February, and let the new leader's momentum carry us into the spring local elections?