Thursday, 14 May 2009

Question 6: Ways in which you disagree with your political party

Nine days ago (before we even knew who all the candidates in the Princes Ward by-election would be), I sent out a series of questions, to be answered by all Princes Ward Council candidates. The questions and answers are intended to help SE11 voters choose who to vote for by ensuring the candidates speak about their policies, rather than focusing on name calling campaigns.

I now have nearly all responses (English Democrat has promised his are to come) and now intend to publish the results one question at a time. Anything in square brackets or in bold, I've added to standarise the format of responses across the parties or as summaries. I've not changed any of the text that I was sent by email, but I've had to move certain answers across to different questions in order to keep the answers similar (I've indicated in all cases where I've made any adjustments, so tell me if you object). I'll probably save my personal comments for a post at a later stage as I want these questions to represent the candidates as best possible. I've put responses in alphabetical order, depending on the name of the party, and I've colour coded them for your ease:

Conservative = Michael Poole-Wilson = Blue
English Democrats = Janus Polenceus = Purple
Green Party = Joseph Healy = Green
Labour = Mark Harrison = Red
Lib Dem = John Roberts = Orange

Question 6:
Name one issue that your political party advocates with which you personally disagree. (To demonstrate independence of thought and refusal to be tied to party line)

Michael Poole-Wilson:
I think the party could go further in allowing schools more freedom to run their own affairs.

Janus Polenceus:
There are views that I disagree with other members in my party, but they are not included in our party manifesto so it does not matter.

Joseph Healy:
Tradable personal carbon quotas. I voted against this several years ago. I believe it to be socially unjust.

Mark Harrison:
I was angry at the abolition of the 10p tax band, and the fact it took the government too long to recognise the effect it would have on people on low incomes. I'm pleased that our MP Kate Hoey opposed the move from the start, and that eventually people were compensated through the rise in personal allowances.

I also think central government should go further in devolving power to local government, so that decisions are made at a more local level, and people take a stronger interest in the work their Council does.

John Roberts:
At the moment, the party’s policy on bioenergy mentions longer-term targets under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, a new assurance scheme to ensure bioenergy is sustainably produced and transported, and reform of existing woodland tax breaks.

While this would be a step forward, it doesn’t go far enough because I think that increasing fuel efficiency and going straight to second generation biofuels would be more effective.

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