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Julian Huppert

Cambridge is a remarkably strategic location for the coming general election.

Our First Past The Post system means that, for lots of people, their vote accomplishes very little. If you live in a safe seat, you might feel your vote is wasted[1]. On the other hand, here in Cambridge, it's as close as they come. The Lib Dems and Labour are polling neck-and-neck: one poll shows Labour ahead by 1%, another the Lib Dems by 1%.

Not only that, but the Lib Dem candidate up for re-election is Julian Huppert. I don't know how much you know about what Julian has done in the past five years, but I've been following him on They Work For You and have been extremely impressed.

  • He's one of the very few scientists in Parliament

  • He's far more technologically literate than most MPs and actually understands normal use cases for the Internet

  • He's very active in Parliament. Often when I hear about an Early Day Motion or similar that I'd like to contact him to ask him to sign, when I look at the current list of signatories he's already signed it

  • He has been involved in a number of committees and boards including the Home Affairs Select Committee

  • He stands by his principles and promises. He voted against assorted government policies such as the tuition fee increase.

  • His expenses have been scrupulously clean each time they've been checked

  • He was deemed most influential Lib Dem backbencher and Internet Hero of the year

  • He's been active on a number of Cambridge-specific campaigns, most recently securing a marked increase in Cambridgeshire school funding

  • Just reading the Hansard reports of his participation in parliamentary debates, he's consistently a voice for reason and evidence-based policy (to the point where other MPs jeer and boo him for it), and frequently asks astute questions of senior front benchers (and usually gets very poor answers)

I rather naively wrote five years ago that "Julian Huppert [was] untested". That wasn't true even at the time (he'd served on the Cambridge council for years), but is much further from true now. He's been tested and found excellent.

So in Cambridge, our votes count for far more than most locations. Not only does every vote for Julian or Labour make a difference, but the potential gain or loss is higher than in most places: Julian has been a force for good, a force for sanity, in Parliament.

So what should you do?

If you don't like Lib Dems: I'd encourage you to check out Julian's record. He voted against the Coalition government on several key issues such as tuition fees, detention without charge and military action in Syria.

If you think it'd be good to get Julian re-elected: Obviously, if you live in Cambridge, be sure to get out and vote on Thursday 7th May! But there's lots more to do than that. There are plenty of ways to contribute to Julian's campaign.
And if you're planning to help, earlier is better. There are less than 60 days left until polling day!

In particular: tell other people to vote as well. There's a lot of disillusionment with politics and politicians at the moment. Having watched him for the past five years, Julian really is different. It'd be a crying shame if he didn't get re-elected because our friends and friends-of-friends didn't bother to get out and vote.

Edit: See also "Every professional scientist in the UK should be hoping that the city of Cambridge returns Dr Julian Huppert as its MP in May".

[1]: Even in a safe seat, votes aren't really wasted. It's not going to make any difference to who becomes MP, but it does still get added up for total support figures. If nothing else, it helps demonstrate how FPTP is broken. And what's a safe seat and what isn't does change over time: seats that were safe ten or twenty years ago are hotly contested now.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 10th, 2015 12:00 pm (UTC)
Interesting Links for 10-03-2015
User andrewducker referenced to your post from Interesting Links for 10-03-2015 saying: [...] ) If you live in Cambridge, please take a look at this [...]
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