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The Left Vote

FAQ

Q: You deleted my comment, that makes you a bad person.

A: We operate a system where your first comment is moderated but after that you slip right on through, so you might just be in the queue. We don’t delete for political content, feel free to disagree constructively with any article you see here. However we reserve the rights to delete abusive comments, spamming, derailing, or overly tedious remarks with an iron fist. The easiest way to avoid getting moderated is to avoid behaving like a dick – then you’ll be fine.

Q: I’d like to write an article for the site, is that allowed?

A: Nice. We’ll accept articles on anything to do with the left and elections. During the short campaign period of each election we’ll be focusing on that specific upcoming election but have a broader remit through the rest of the year. If you aren’t sure what you have in mind is appropriate just ask. We recommend around 600 words and a minimum of swearing. Go for it and write to: jimjepps@hotmail.com

Q: There is only one truly left-wing group which is the [insert your group], why are you promoting [insert rival group] who are actually reactionary scum?

A: Partly to annoy you. We’d also point out that your group is perfectly capable of promoting its views on the sins of all the other left groups themselves but we’re not obliged to believe you. The remit of this site is to look at the self-defined left as whole not to act as a gate-keeper, determining who does and does not deserve the title.

Q: Hey. You’ve included community campaigns and single issue candidates. They aren’t fighting for a socialist transformation of the means of production and are, therefore, tossers and not left-wing at all.

A: It’s important for us to take as broad a view of the left as possible. Partly this is because organised left groups have been pretty good at pretending that anything they aren’t involved with is not left-wing or isn’t happening, and partly because many of these people are self-defining left-wingers who simply have a different approach to politics than waving the red flag about and bellowing the Internationale.

Where we do include these local initiatives (and we won’t include them all) it will be because we have reason to believe left-wing people will want to consider voting for them, not necessarily that they self define as left-wing, which is a subtle distinction but not an unimportant one.

Q: You’ve included a candidate who will get a tiny vote. What’s the point?

A: Elections take place in public and we want to look at how the left is doing fighting elections regardless of whether they do well or not. Evidence is not always pretty, which means well intentioned candidates who are, in fact, hopeless at contesting elections should probably be helped to understand that you don’t win a good vote just by having a good heart. We also want to remind people that elections matter when you do well *and* when you do badly.

Q: You included a candidate who is a terrible person. This means you support them.  That makes you a terrible person.

A: Including a candidate does not mean a recommendation to vote for them. You can make your own mind up about how you want to use your vote, if at all. This is a news and information site which means we may talk about all sorts of things we wish had not happened. Some information that may be news is that some lefties are terrible people. This site highlights left of Labour candidates, go to The Nice Vote to find out who the loveliest candidates are.

Q: You didn’t include my candidate. Why?

A: There could be a number of reasons. a) do we know about them? Email the editor at jimjepps@hotmail.com with their details to be sure. b) are they left-wing? We may have considered them but ruled  them out. Feel free to make the case to the editor.

Don’t assume that we have an army of flying monkeys that tell us everything that’s happening. We may simply not know about them. You are the flying monkey, tell us your tales.

Q: You have included my candidate and I don’t want you to!

A: Apologies. If you want to make the case that you or your candidate are not left-wing please do, politely. However, we are not publicists this is a news and information site. We control who we include, not you. If, for example, you’ve decided the term left-wing means something it does not, or you don’t want the electorate to know how left you are, then that’s your problem not ours.

Candidates standing for election are in the public domain. We take a broad view of the left and inclusion on this site does not imply you are a Trotskyist vanguardist or Che Guevara in waiting. Hasta siempre companero.

Q: There’s more than one socialist candidate standing in a particular election. You can’t support them all!

A: The site is for information purposes, not picking sides. Listing a candidate does not indicate that we back that candidate.

Having said that we will feel free to comment on the nature and chances of any particular campaign to help guide local activists and voters. If you don’t agree with what we’ve got to say then feel free to leave a polite comment on the post/page.

Q: You said my candidate did badly at the ballot box, I find that hurtful and unhelpful.

A: We’re sorry to hear that but one of the advantages of being part of the independent press is that we’re able to give a more measured assessment of the results than the parties are able to provide themselves. We’ll try not to be unfair to anyone, but if your pre-election rhetoric about winning doesn’t match up with the actual results we won’t go out of our way not to mention it.

Q: Labour is a left-wing party, backed by the unions, you should just back us. Highlight all the Labour candidates.

A: No. The Labour government was an enthusiast for war, PFI, anti-trade union laws and presided over deregulating and cosseting the financial and banking sector leaving the economy dramatically vulnerable when the crash came. No organisation is wholly corrupt but pointing to the minimum wage and civil partnerships hardly outweighs the piles of corpses Blair left in his wake.

Never-the-less, while this site will not be encouraging sympathy for Labour as a whole there is no question that there are those within that party who oppose war and privatisation. At each election we hope to highlight some of those candidates and our readers can make their own decisions.

Q: The Green Party is a left of Labour Party. You should just back our candidates.

A: No. The Greens did not propose a merger with the Scottish Socialist Party or the Socialist Alliance because they saw a clear political difference in policy, approach and appeal. The Greens do not have a monopoly on opposition to war and privatisation – indeed there is a difference between being glad there are campaigns to defend public services, for example, and being in the front ranks of those campaigns.

The Greens are, overall, left-wing in policy and sympathies but are distinct from the traditional left, for good and ill.

As with the Labour Party, and in keeping with the open ethos of this site, we shall highlight interesting Green campaigns. Where there are serious left, Green candidates we shall treat them in the same way as any other left candidate. Where the Green candidate cannot be regarded as of the left we will not.

Where you see Green or Labour candidates think of them as representatives rather than comprehensive listings with an emphasis on areas Greens are already elected or particularly leftist candidates. Contact us if you’d like a particular candidate included – the more polite you are, the more likely we are to listen.

Q: Elections are a distraction from the proletarian struggle! Get off the internet!

A: You’re right! We’re off to riot.

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