Oct 27th, 2014
Rochester & Strood: People-powered MP ‘score cards’
By Rebecca Falcon
Where do the parties stand? Letting people know came top in a survey to over 5,000 38 Degrees members in Rochester and Strood at the start of October.
So together, 38 Degrees members are producing ‘score cards’ of where the parties stand on top local and national issues. The score cards will clearly set out the differences between the parties.
The score cards are people-powered: 38 Degrees members have decided the issues, and are pushing the candidates for answers. Here’s how we’ve done it together so far:
In the survey in October, 38 Degrees members voted on their top issues in the upcoming byelection. They also picked which tactics we should do together to push these issues to the top of the agenda. Score cards got a firm mandate.
38 Degrees members also got together at two meet-ups in Rochester to talk about the issues in more detail. One on the evening of the Conservative open primary hustings, and one the next day at the King’s Head pub on the High Street.
The issues that came top in the survey and at the member meet-ups determined the issues to be included in the score cards.
After the issues were determined, the 38 Degrees staff team drafted some questions to put to the candidates. A Google Doc of the questions was then sent to all 38 Degrees members in Rochester and Strood.
38 Degrees members edited and added to the Google Doc, to make sure we were all happy with the final version of the questions.
Then on Thursday 23rd October, 38 Degrees members held a stall on Rochester High Street. Throughout the day, we heard from even more local people about the issues they care about. Residents wrote down the issues that would influence how they’d vote in the byelection.
At the stall, residents signed up to take part in 38 Degrees’ score carding campaign. This will make sure that as many local people as possible will get a chance to rank the candidates.
Now, our question will be sent to the political parties standing to be the next MP, so they can clarify their positions on important policies.
38 Degrees members also took action to find out where the candidates in the Conservative party’s open primaries stood on the issues we care about. Members in Rochester and Strood sent emails that CC’d in both candidates, asking them to state their views. We could then compare them according to their answers, to help decide how we voted.