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SCP to field candidate in General Election


The Scottish Christian Party is hoping to field a candidate in the forthcoming general election and a contest is to held in the early new year to select a candidate.



murdomurray smallA £30,000 campaign war chest has been promised to the Scottish Christian Party (SCP) candidate fighting the Western Isles constituency in the forthcoming general election. The party’s political candidate will be chosen in February after a US-style Open Primary contest open to all islanders.

This is thought to be just the second time the American system of allow all voters in an area to select a prospective candidate for an election in the UK. The first was in August when the Sarah Wollaston was picked to fight the Totnes seat for the 2010 general election for the Conservatives.

The candidate selection will be conducted by a secure internet vote and via a computerised telephone poll. The primary will be organised and controlled by the Electoral Reform Service though its £30,000 cost will be borne by the party.

Voting in the Primary will be between Thursday 21 January and Thursday 11 February 2010.

George HargreavesChristian Party leader Rev. George Hargreaves who stood in the Western Isles as a SCP candidate for the Western Isles at the last general election pledged the campaign cash saying: “We are in it to win it. “Whoever wins the prize will be well resourced.”

“The £30,000 campaign fund is the maximum allowed under the law and we are spending a similar amount on the Primary."

The successful candidate will have  a rented campaign office at his disposal in a prime spot in Cromwell Street in Stornoway town centre. The party plans to fight the SNP after blaming the Nationalists for launching a controversial Sabbath ferry into Lewis this summer while Sabbath trading is another issue troubling the party. Rev. Hargreaves has stated: 

 

“In 2010 and 2011 the Scottish Christian Party shall run election campaigns based on building on the strengths of the Western Isles, not destroying them. We intend to see the people of the Western Isles united behind it uniqueness, not divided by its diversity.”

 

Mr. Hargreaves also believes that the Calman report could benefit the Scottish islands. He said that the 10 pence (income) tax should be used to advantage for the Western Isles and peripheral islands to attract new business and attract population to the islands

The presence of the Scottish Christian Party in the Western Isles election fight could well upset the two-horse race between the SNP and Labour. It will also impact on any opportunity or desire that there might be for a local Christian to stand as an independent.

murdomurray small1In the 2007 elections for the Scottish Parliament Mr. Murdo Murray, a former Technical Director with Western Isles Council stood as a List Candidate for the SCP.

Mr. Murray participated in a recent on-line discussion regarding the Sunday sailing issue and the wider subject of Christian representation in the political process.

Audio iconIn the course of the discussion Christians Together interviewed Mr. Murray on a range of issues affecting the Western Isles. It is understood that Mr. Murray was not present at a recent public meeting in Stornoway hosted by Rev. Hargreaves.


Christians Together, 24/12/2009

Feedback:
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Peter Carr 29/12/2009 23:02
"What is not so clear is whether individual christians, churches or indeed prospective SCP candidates can change what is in the manifesto."

Interesting point Rosemary, can I ask why the concern?
Penny Lee 29/12/2009 23:08
I have to agree with you Rosemary that the issue of funding is not the main concern here. The SCP will have to seriously address major failings in how they interact (or rather don't) with the very people whose votes they need. I don't care how much money they throw at their election campaign, or in what way they spend it, they have got to get back the confidence of Christian voters before they can expect us to put our faith in them.

Their last attempts seriously put me off voting for them, as I had done on a previous occasion. They had a real opportunity to make progress in being elected and, as far as I'm concerned, they blew it! Not necessarily because of what they stood for (if we could ever have found out what exactly that was!) but due to complete neglect of prospective voters, and maybe even arrogance, in assuming they'd get Christian votes without being accountable to anybody.
Peter Carr 29/12/2009 23:13
Sorry Andrea, I seem to have missed that part of Rosemary's post where she said that funding is not the main issue!
Penny Lee 30/12/2009 13:50
The fact that Rosemary chose instead to focus on operational issues would suggest to me that they are more of an issue for her than how they choose to spend the money concerned.

Forgive me, Rosemary, if this is not the case.
John Parker (Guest) 30/12/2009 16:17
I agree that the issues that Andrea and Rosemary have raised are much more of a concern than 'the money'.

Let's not be side-tracked from the main issues.
Peter Carr 30/12/2009 16:36
All our concerns are valid to all of us, lets not be dismissive of each others views or concerns.

I agree with Rosemary, but whether operational concerns, financial etc, I suspect it is all part and parcel of the same problem, a lack of democracy from within!! (Previous posts that I have made on SCP related threads will support this).
Rosemary Cameron 30/12/2009 22:19
Regarding the SCP's manifesto, if they are open to receiving comments on the draft issue and changing it then that would indicate that they are accountable to the wider body of Christ. I would see that as a positive sign.

I don't have a problem with the SCP spending money on the actual election campaign - you need money to mount a successful campaign because mailings and posters cost money. I don't however see the need to spend £30000 on an American style primary just to select the candidate. Surely a few meetings in halls up and down the constituency where the prospective candidates can put forward their credentials followed by a vote would suffice to select the best candidate.
Peter Carr 30/12/2009 23:27
"Regarding the SCP's manifesto, if they are open to receiving comments on the draft issue and changing it then that would indicate that they are accountable to the wider body of Christ. I would see that as a positive sign."

Thank you for your response, glad to see that I am not alone with my concerns regarding accountability!!
Peter Carr 31/12/2009 08:58
"The Scottish Christian Party is hoping to field a candidate in the forthcoming general election and a contest is to held in the early new year to select a candidate."

I would be very interested to know if the same approach is being taken for all of the 120 candidates that The Christian Party have standing in the UK.
Eddie Hallahan 31/12/2009 13:20
An open primary is the most democratic way to select a candidate.
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