One thing that has been slightly annoying me recently is people not understanding the difference between a voter and a supporter.
On my way into the London hustings the other week I had to pass through a crowd of people handing out leaflets and stickers for the two candidates. I was offered a badge to wear by a member of Nick Clegg’s campaign team. When I refused they pointed out to me that I had declared for Clegg on my blog. While being pleased that at least somebody is reading this, I decided not to get into a long explanation about why despite having voted for him I was not prepared to go about declaring my allegiance on my lapel.
The truth is, as I think I’ve tried to explain, my choice to vote for Clegg and not Huhne was a marginal one. I haven’t been able to generate much enthusiasm for either of them in what I regard as a disappointing campaign. I am happy to openly say which way I have voted, which does I admit imply some kind of endorsement, but I am not ready to go so far as to declare myself a ‘supporter’.
This is not something I am pleased about. I would very much like to be an active supporter of a candidate for the leadership of my party. I could even see myself offering my services, such as they are, to that candidate’s campaign team. But there isn’t a candidate in this race that I could with honesty campaign for.
There have been a number of bloggers whose posts on the leadership election have been thought provoking and useful. Many have attempted to be even-handed between the two and have explained why they have made the choice they have with caveats and reservations. There are a number of bloggers who are clearly waving the flag for one candidate or the other, but attempts to crudely divide all of us who have said which way we are voting into Cleggites and Huhnistas is a bit silly and robs us of nuanced argument.
I am a voter for, not a supporter of, Nick Clegg. If he is to become our leader he will still have a lot to prove to me in the months that follow so that I don’t feel I should regret the choice I made.
This content was originally posted on my old Process Guy blog.