FROM: Cllr Mark Baxter.
Last week’s letter from defeated Council candidate David Calvert was very far removed from a true summary of the recent election campaign.
Mr Calvert is now a five time election loser – 2001, 2005, 2007, 2010 and now 2011. In the three recent Local Government elections he has contested his vote has fallen on each occasion – 761 votes in 2001, 626 votes in 2005 and now 508 votes in 2011.
For him to try to explain this away by putting it down to the fact that local issues were ignored during the recent campaign is as silly as it is untrue. For our part, in our council election campaign, the DUP in our literature dealt in detail with local issues such as the level of rates increases. We majored on roads in the Lurgan area – at Dollingstown, Magheralin, Mourneview, Gibsons Hill, Donaghcloney, and Waringstown.
We also focused on Lurgan jobs and tourism. We turned our attention to local policing issues such as Church-time burglaries in Lurgan. We included local sporting activities in Lurgan – eg the planning application for Dollingstown Football Club for a new stand at Planter’s Park, funding for Waringstown Cricket Club and a financial package for Lurgan Show.
It was very gratifying then that having ran such a locally based election focused on local Lurgan issues that the electorate voted the DUP back as the largest political party in Lurgan for the first time in history.
So it was not the absence of local issues or debate around them that made Mr Calvert unelectable. It is not the fault of other political parties or of the electorate that he has now lost five successive elections and seen his vote drop by a third in the process. Instead of trying to blame others for his failure to connect with the electorate and make himself a credible candidate in the eyes of the electorate – David Calvert needs to look closer to home. As William Shakespeare put it in Julius Caesar Act I scene II: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”