Dear Mr Owens,
Thank you for your letter dated 26th April in response to my suggestion that you look into completing the survey from TheyWorkForYou. I noticed the Guardian today published a story about how a number of Conservative PPCs have refused to answer the questionnaire:
Many Conservatives had explained their failure to answer using an identical phrase: “Surveys like this can often simplify policies too far and might not properly represent the nuances of party policies.”
I’m sure you (and the other candidates who said this) have a point but I believe it’s missing the bigger issue at play. That is, if you wish to involve the public in government – the “Big Society” if you will – then being able to express your ideas in new ways that are more accessible to your electorate is essential.
The Conservative party have said some very encouraging things about using new technologies to “crowd source” policies yet when one comes along it is shunned.
On the specific issue of the survey from TheyWorkForYou, it has space for you to add comments for each question to go into more detail of your views. Maybe an alternative would be for me to meet you in person, record your answers on video and I’ll publish it online – that way you can get your message across in your own words?
This evening I received a letter from Adrian Owens, Conservative PPC for West Lancashire refusing to complete the survey sent to all candidates by TheyWorkForYou:
So John Gibson, Rosie Cooper, David Braid, Peter Craine and Damon Noone – I challenge you to complete the survey!