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March 21, 2012

Anyone can stand

With the local government elections only a couple of months away, the leaflets reminding us who’s standing for which party are starting to drop through the letterbox.  The big political parties seem to work on the assumption that the contest is just between them. But the new system of multi-member wards and Single Transferrable Votes mean that it is not beyond communities to put up their own candidates – and win.


In 2010 Iceland’s favorite stand up comedian ‘Jon Gnarr’ stood for the Reykjavik City Council elections, and to everyone’s amazement got in. The film ‘Gnarr’ tells the story of how he gathered together his friends into ‘The Best Party’ taking the local government elections by storm, and has ended up as Mayor.

The film ‘Gnarr’ was shown recently as an inspiration of what is possible in politics when people have had enough of the status quo and stand up for justice. We want people to vote in the Scottish local government elections in May, if there is no one they want to vote for, we are encouraging them to ask someone they trust to stand. Encouraging people who may never before have thought about it to stand on a social justice platform. 

In the 2007 local government elections for Glasgow you needed between 800 and 3,200 first preference votes to get elected. With the multi member wards and the single transferable vote system there is a chance for community leaders of all sorts to take a stand. Think local publican, community hall manager, allotment activist, small business owner, community nurse, event promoter, justice campaigner, gallery curator or social entrepreneur. Everything is possible!

The notice of the local government election in Scotland is published from March 13th, last date to deliver nomination papers for independent candidates 4pm March 29th, its free and easy. You then have 5 weeks to get the word out and speak to your voters before they go to the ballot box.

Initiated by Mark Langdon and Susan Pettie, ‘we just have to do something!’ We are eager for others to get involved, are you interested? Contact