Liberal Democrat campaign diary: thoughts from a northern doorstep

Christine Jardine
Christine Jardine

We’ve invited those in the election firing-line to send regular bulletins about the personal side of campaigning. Christine Jardine is the Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Inverness and Nairn.

There are moments in an election campaign when you see with absolute clarity why you are committed to what you are doing, and are reminded why you got involved in the first place.

I had one of those moments this week.

Amid the media-induced frenzy over manifesto policy commitments, the blur of brightly coloured party posters and the constantly ringing mobile phones, I found myself standing on a doorstep in Inverness in the rain waiting for another door to be opened.

Who would it be this time? A parent worried about the effects the current local authority cuts would have on their children’s education, a carer worried about whether the support they need to look after their elderly parents would continue to be available, or a businessman worried about whether they could survive until we reach the light at the end of this particular economic dark tunnel?

As I waited I felt, not for the first time, the huge weight of responsibility that goes with the determination to make a difference.

Come 5 May, I am hoping that voters all over Inverness, Nairn and Strathspey will put a cross beside my name. Choose me and the Liberal Democrats to provide the solution to the challenges that face Scotland.

And what can we offer in return? We have our manifesto and commitment to raise funds to invest in a long-term strategy to provide jobs, restore excellence to our education system and protect our local service and keep decision-making close to the communities dependent on them.

But we have more, much more than that.

I introduced myself to the elderly lady who opened the door. We discussed my background, my politics and what Liberal Democrats are committed to doing for Scotland’s future. We talked about pensions and the council tax. But she had heard a lifetime of promises from politicians and said so.

As I was about to go, I said there was one promise that I could make her. That I would work hard, I would listen and that I would always put what was best for Inverness, Nairn and Strathspey first.

She smiled and shook my hand. That was the only promise she had wanted.

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