European elections

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Wednesday 3 June 2009 8.34am
I am voting by post and I am surprised I have not received any leaflets about the candidates apart from BNP. Is that normal? Where am I supposed to get information about the candidates?
Wednesday 3 June 2009 9.38am
I think you've just got to go to their websites.

Here's a page on the BBC website with links to all the parties' sites:

I've had mailshots from the Labs and the Cons (interstingly, the Lab mailshot seems to come in 2 flavours. Mrs I got a "Lab light" postcard-sized version, whereas I got a 3-postcard fold-out version which still contained near-zero information. I don't think Mrs I got anything from the Cons either, but judging by what they sent me, that was no great loss to her).

What I love is that any mailshots that do come almost always arrive AFTER I've sent off my (postal) vote. This has been the case for every election I can remember since I've lived here.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 3 June 2009 10.27am
Thanks Ivanhoe, that was really helpful. I can't believe how voters are expected to vote without basic information. Why don't we receive a copy of each candidate's programme/ideas together with the ballot? That would be fair for all of them...
How do the candidates decide to whom they send information? Do they look at the list of voters and check their age, nationality, postcode or whatever and then decide who is likely to vote for them and only send their leaflets to those? Don't they all have access to the same funds for marketing their campaigns? Otherwise, how can the independent candidates have the same coverage as big parties? I am really puzzled by how democracy works here.
Wednesday 3 June 2009 12.48pm
You may be puzzled, Connie, but (and I'm guessing from the last line of your post that you originate from somewhere outside the UK - forgive me if I'm wrong) I've lived here all my life and don't know the answers to your Q's, so perhaps your "puzzled" should be my "embarrassed" ;0)

Perhaps someone who knows will come along and tell us both the answers.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 3 June 2009 4.40pm
Yes, you are right, I am from across the Channel, where no party can have more printed material or television time than another. I have to get going and post my vote, the deadline is tomorrow...
Wednesday 3 June 2009 8.17pm
this is a great indicator of where you sit politically for tomorrow and is worth doing...
Thursday 4 June 2009 9.09am
Thanks Boroughpaul, that's very good, the results were spot on!
Thursday 4 June 2009 2.56pm
All parties have the right to particate in a "freepost" delivery where the Royal Mail delivers a leaflet to everyone on their behalf for free. (Though it costs to produce the leaflets so some may not participate.) I got "freeposts" from nearly all the parties standing (at least 8); it's a bit disappointing that the Royal Mail failed to deliver most of them to you.

On top of the freeposts parties can deliver as many extra leaflets as they can / want / judge is effective. However no party has the resources to deliver a second leaflet to every voter in the country so they choose specific areas to focus on and this is usually based on where they are strong. (For example only the Lib Dems delivered extra leaflets to me but I live in a safe Lib Dem ward so they were probably the only party with enough active members to deliver leaflets in my area.)

Parties do not all have the same funds. Most of their funding is raised by donations and there are big differences between the amounts different parties raise.
Monday 8 June 2009 12.32pm
We have to move away from soft ball team politics, where no one cares what team they are on just as long as they win , and and soon as your team is in trouble you ditch the leader. Or switch teams

Also It semms to me that the political spectrum in mainland Europe is less right wing than it is here.

New labour is probably to the right of the epp.
The parties calling themselves centre left have done less well because no one knows what they stand for.

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