Open Unionism


A forum to discuss new ideas and perspectives on Unionism…

Manifesto microsites…

Party manifestos will be published over the next few months. These documents are always difficult to present and to encourage readership beyond the committed politico.

Microsites are being adopted by large organisations when it comes to their annual reports. This moves an often turgid document away from being a printed record developed out of legal necessity towards a more dynamic and consumable product which encourages broader understanding.

Putting a document into a PDF reader and sitting on the main site is fine – but how do you extract and highlight the detail effectively?

The majority of microsites I come across are deployed to support short-term consumer campaigns – they shouldn’t live long enough or be so broad as to compete against the main homesite. A microsite by nature has a limited lifespan, and fits the requirements of a manifesto (which times out after polling day and can be archived thereafter).

The feedback I get from people is that the UUP’s website is pretty poor; whereas the DUP’s site is slicker and more coherent. Of the two I would say that the UUP would benefit most from a microsite.

Could this be a model for local parties to consider?



Filed under: Assembly elections,

Mixed bag for the UUP as the party hopes to avoid lost seats.

Cross posted on Three Thousand Versts. By Owen Polley.

As promised, some reaction to the UUP Assembly candidates list, revealed yesterday. Like O’Neill, the first name which took my eye was Reg Empey, whose impending elevation to the Conservative benches at the House of Lords has not prevented his selection for East Belfast.

On ‘Unionist Lite’ Michael Shilliday notes that the Lords is neither an elected nor a salaried position and therefore the party treats it as exempt from strictures on double-jobbing. That will be considered, by most people, to be too convenient a get out.

Simply, if you can’t be a Lord and remain in the House of Commons, neither should you become a Lord and remain at the Assembly. If the UUP wants to wriggle out on a technicality then there will be criticism and, in my opinion, it will be justified.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Assembly elections, UUP

Another UUP MLA faces deselection

The UUP have held another selection meeting. This time in the Upper Bann Constituency.

The late MP’s son, Colin McCusker topped the poll with successful Lurgan by-election candidate, elected in February 2010, Jo-anne Dobson, coming second. Sitting MLA Samuel Gardiner came in third. The other sitting MLA, George Savage, came in fifth. The party is expected to stand three candidates and it is thought that Mr Savage will face deselection.

The fate of Westminster candidate, Harry Hamilton, is unsure as he came in fourth. Should the party over rule the decision of the association it could cause uproar.

The possible deselection of sitting MLA George Savage comes as David McClarty, Deputy Speaker and MLA for East Londonderry, faced a similar fate earlier in the week. He however remained victorious in today’s News letter arguing that there was a miscalculation in the points system.

The UUP have adopted a new system of selection based on scoring candidates as opposed to the more traditional system of one member, one vote. The new system saw Leadership candidate, Basil McCrea, romp home in Lagan Valley the week before last. It was rumoured that he could have faced deselection himself.

Filed under: Assembly elections, elections

That McCusker name is back…

Just picked up some interesting news that Colin McCusker, son of the late Harold McCusker, topped the poll at the UUP’s Upper Bann selection meeting last night. Apparently he won ‘by a country mile’ and was extremely impressive.

Others being sent forward to the HQ selection panel are:

  • Joanne Dobson
  • Sammy Gardiner
  • Harry Hamilton
  • George Savage

I understand that there was little separating this group of four in terms of votes cast.

Filed under: Assembly elections, , ,

Strangford selection…

David McNarry, Mike Nesbitt and Philip Smith all go forward from tonight’s UUP association meeting in Strangford. The next phase is the HQ selection panel.

PS. If anyone picks up any intelligence on selections, please do let me know.

Filed under: Assembly elections, , , ,

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