Greens hit out at “woeful” voter information campaign

Local democracy is being undermined by lack of information from public authorities.
That’s the message from Edinburgh Green Party with only 10 weeks to go before the May elections. 
The Greens, who expect to get between 4 and 8 councillors elected in Edinburgh, say that hardly any voters know about the new fairer voting system for local councils.
The new system will see voters ranking candidates in order of preference rather than making a cross next to one only.  It also means that 3 or 4 councillors will be elected for much bigger wards.
At the same time, a new ballot paper is being introduced for the Scottish Parliament elections.  The regional vote, which used to be called the “second� vote, now appears on the same paper as the list of constituency candidates.
Edinburgh Greens Co-convenor and City Centre council candidate, Gavin Corbett:
“Over the last two weeks I have personally canvassed around 500 people in the Abbeyhill area.  From that, only a handful of people know that the voting system is changing, far less what it is changing to.
“I’ve spent more time explaining the voting system than describing the new ideas that Greens will be able to bring to the city chambers.  While I accept that political parties do have a role in this, I don’t think we should have to fill the gap left by woeful voter information campaigns.
“All the marketing evidence shows that people have to hear a message repeatedly and over a long period of time for it to be effective.  It is time that the Scottish Executive and the City Council got serious about publicity.�

[1] Edinburgh Greens are standing in all 17 council wards for the first time and are confident of achieving the 12-18% of votes that will see a minimum of four Green councillors elected to the city council.