The Cowdenbeath By-Election is entering the final stages for the candidates to convince you that they are worthy of your vote.
Both Labour and SNP have been on an advertising blitz, with a series of leaflets with both parties publishing a newspaper titled ‘The Fifer’.
Labour has publicly dismissed all the candidates by claiming it is a two horse race between SNP and Labour.
Both, SNP and Labour have involved themselves in attacking each others candidates and literature, with both parties trying to score points against each other rather than focus on local issues.
At the last election, Labour candidate Alex Rowley called a moratorium on wind turbine developments, yet when this bid failed, opted to erect 26 industrial turbines across Fife.
This will have cost him votes, but to what extent is unclear. Meanwhile, SNP policy is for even more turbines, which has been costing the SNP votes across the country, it is to be assumed that the SNP candidate; Natalie McGarry will be supportive to wind energy developments, if she is following the party line.
Meanwhile, the Conservative candidate; Dave Dempsey has promised to improve the state of our roads, and help protect our greenspaces.
Dave Dempsey is currently serving as a councillor, and was a key player in slowing down the plans proposed by Labour for Fife Council to build wind turbines at the taxpayers expense across Fife.
Dempsey publicly stated;
The whole thing’s a mess. Councillors and, through them, the public are being fed a series of inaccurate, incomplete and inconsistent pieces of information. Before this goes any further, we need to be told all the facts and all the options considered, with the pros and cons of each, so that we can decide what’s the best way ahead.
On the issue of transparency, the independent Stuart Graham is campaigning for better transparency in our court systems, which has been due to Graham campaigning for over 5 years seeking justice over the tragedy of his son.
Unlike the other parties, Stuart Graham has not been able to rely on a high media visibility or team to help with canvassing constituents.
The up-coming BBC Big Debate has also fallen under scrutiny after it emerged in the Central Fife Times that Stuart Graham has not been asked to sit in the panel of the Big Debate, nor is he allowed to participate as a member of the audience.
However, Stuart whilst recognising that his focus is on a primary issue, also recognises the importance of putting constituents first;
The basis of all our campaign Is that The Truth is Your Right and that we want you to have a vote for people to represent you and not for people who represent parties.
A key priority is not just for the Cowdenbeath constituency but for the entire country, it is the implementation of Scotland’s obligation to Article 2 of The European Court of Human Rights. In essence giving families the right to comprehensive information in a public environment when a loved one dies in any situation. As well as placing families at the center of the inquiry it will enforce integrity of any official bodies involved, leading to greater transparency and learning.
The second is pushing for developing a minimum standard of Social and Community Housing to be decreed a legal limit is Scotland to help safeguard against other stupid tax policies and also pushing for greater design in developing not just social housing but that fit to preserve communities.
I want to see all public authorities open to public review and feedback rather than the painful process of review behind closed doors. It is the only way to improve and it involves allowing citizens to participate in the improvement of our services that are there for us rather than having them done to us.
Also standing for election is UKIP candidate Denise Baykal. UKIP have a strong stance against wind energy developments and Denise has called for;
ending tax on the minimum wage and cutting fuel prices by scrapping the green agenda of career politicians.
The Liberal Democrats have put forward Jade Holden as a candidate who is seeking free childcare for families, a policy which has also been highlighted by the SNP and Labour candidates. Jane holden will work closely with Willie Rennie MSP to try and get more support for childcare expansion plans in Hollyrood.
The final candidate standing is James Trolland for the Scottish Democratic Alliance and is seeking the independence of Scotland, but are seeking to have Scotland with it’s own currency, introducing a flat tax, with a centralised Scottish Bank. The SDA are offering an alternative vision for independence from that of the SNP, seeking grass roots democracy.
Whilst it is understandable that there is a strong focus on national issues and generalities, there is equally a strong need for candidates to continue to put forward specific proposals on how they are going to address local issues for their constituents and strive to promote local democracy.
Who will you be voting for in the Cowdenbeath By-Election?
- I will not be voting (20%, 20 Votes)
- Stuart Graham (Independent) (19%, 19 Votes)
- Natalie McGarry (SNP) (18%, 18 Votes)
- James Trolland (SDA) (16%, 16 Votes)
- Alex Rowley (Labour) (15%, 15 Votes)
- Dave Dempsey (Conservatives) (7%, 7 Votes)
- Denise Baykal (UKIP) (5%, 5 Votes)
- Jade Holden (Liberal Democrats) (1%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 101