Election time: Coming soon for 2023!

Afternoon folks! :slight_smile: Election season is upon us and its likely to be announced in a month.

Like last year I’m thinking of offering to do hustings videos again, but streamlining the operation based on the top feedback.

Top feedback last time which I’d like to address this time:

  • “Its too late, I postal voted.”
  • “These are great, please do my area next time!”

I would keep the format the same as last time and aim to make only minor changes:

  1. Plan before the election is announced, so there is early awareness.
  2. Invite people to help so I don’t get so overworked. (Invite candidates, circulate videos, handle the social side!).
  3. Drop the trying to ask questions from each area on social, it’s too hard, complex and time consuming. Instead stick to 5 general questions to ask to all candidates.
  4. Target the entire borough to make comms easier! This likely means a potential 13 videos and 50 candidates to invite!
  5. Announce start date for entries is the start date of the election, and closes 7 days later. This should give a good 2-3 weeks of election time when the video is published, rather than just a couple of days.

Any thoughts and suggestions? :slight_smile:

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Sounds ambitious! I’m likely to be updating Who Can I Vote For and tweeting from ESLHustings again, so happy to give the candidates/parties a prod to take part and share the videos.

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With voter ID, postal voting is going to need to be really encouraged. A non-partisan org like EO sharing this iformation ASAP could be really helpful to boost turnout.

While I get the ambition behind the ward level target, given the number of candidates total and the timeframes I do think a spokesperson per party/independent grouping would be easier for all involved and mean we can get this out earlier! I think if you’re going to be asking the same 5 questions you’re going to get very similar answers anyway but with different names/places anyway.

As is now the tradition with these :wink: , I’d like to raise the issue of letting candidates say things unchallenged by a moderator or another candidate.

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Hey both, thanks for the support! :slight_smile:

Good points as always Josh! Will share voting information in the next couple of days.

I hear you on the ‘spokesperson per party/group’ approach and you’re right it would save time, but in my mind it goes against what we’re trying to do here which is connect people at a more local level to the too-often-unknown name on the ballot paper. Spokesperson per party, we kind of have already (party leaders!). aka, keep doing what we’ve always done!

Different individuals have different ideas and approaches and to me that all counts (I get that it might not to the next person! :wink: ). People feel disconnected from politics, and I think this approach helps re-connect them.

What may not be obvious is behind the scenes I’ve now automated a lot of the processes involved in this, so I’m hopeful this time should actually take me less time than it did the time before despite doing more. Each time we should get faster and slicker. Ultimate aim would be a tool which is near-zero effort for me to produce, but baby steps!

Moderator to challenge - this is a tricky one and I think in the short term, a risky path. If anyone could find a moderator with a plan willing to put their name in the frame I would be happy to help organise something in parallel. I do think we’re onto something good here with the current format as it is completely impartial, repeatable, and scaleable and reaches people who may otherwise not be reached. As soon as we have a moderator challenging, the the moderator will get accused of being biased… it also considerably increases the time and effort to produce. I’d prefer to try to encourage the local debates and stir interest to begin with (which as we know, is far too low!).

You have a valid point with no challenge to any bad maths though - so to counter I propose this time once all candidates have watched the published video they are invited to write a closing summary in response, which will be distributed with the video.

I’m keen to keep guardrails around the output/content to make sure we can de-risk and keep all people on board, and bias out of it.

I do appreciate any suggestions for improvement though! :slight_smile:


100%, postal voting is definitely the safest option, so getting any videos out early enough for postal voters is essential.