I’ve seen a couple of other people post on how and why they are voting in the Lib Dems’ presidential election (including one rather amusing locked entry about why the whole lot is going into the recycling bin).
I decided back in July that I was voting for Ros Scott. Her manifesto is blessed with superlative endorsements – Ashdown, Williams, Cable – but I think if she was campaigning on that alone it might not do the trick; there are very few specifics about what she would do to make the party different. But the fact is that I know what she intends to do, because she has told me; she has, she claims, spoken to 3,000 members in the last 18 months (certainly including me), and in any case her website does have a few more specifics. So my vote is safely going to her.
That left the choice of putting my second preference for Lembit or the unknown young bloke, or not using it at all. There are two very specific things I don’t like in Lembit’s manifesto, and which I think will put off uncommitted voters: the peculiar phrases: “primary colours, not pastel shades” and “support our leader and never compete with his role”. It’s not at all clear who is being attacked for either using pastel shades or competing with Nick Clegg, and it just sounds a bit weird.
However, Chandila Fernando’s manifesto is enough to let me give Lembit my second preference. Fernando is clearly a bright guy, but you basically need someone in the role of party president who has some experience of how the party ticks from the inside. Fernando doesn’t mention any actual experience in the party other than being a “seasoned campaigner” (I’ve heard that he was a Conservative until recently, and while I wouldn’t hold this per se against him, it would explain why he hasn’t many Luib Dem credentials on his CV). Lembit is charmingly eccentric but does in the end have a clue; Chandila doesn’t quite manage to score on the clue scale, so he goes third on my list.