The results of the Cannabis Law Reform Party Vote of Confidence are in, and Peter Reynolds gained 70% of the vote on a 42% turnout, 232 votes to 101. Seems reasonable, doesn’t it?
Well, maybe. But check out the email that was sent out:
I am writing to you all about the vote of confidence in Peter Reynolds and asking you to send in your vote.
You should all have received an email from Peter explaining why we are calling for this vote, we hope it will reaffirm the mandate Peter was given a year ago when he was voted as leader by the membership of the party, then called the LCA. Peter promised to lead a focused campaign, to register as a political party, to improve the website and to increase membership, he has done all this and more.
He has represented Clear at debates, on radio, locally on the cannabis truth roadshow, spoken at events and conferences, Clear also published an independent review ‘Taxing the UK Cannabis Market’ which we launched at the House of Commons last September.
He continues to complain whenever we find lies about cannabis; his views were sought by the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of the British press.
The website is constantly being improved, we have opened a member’s forum and our membership has grown from 60 to 800, this provides much needed cash. Last year Clear spent £13,000, we began our year with £4,500 which funded the re-branding to Clear, we received £8,500 from donations & memberships and this has been spent running our focused campaign. We have had some very generous donations. Thank you all.
We have had some problems, all with people, yes, it is politics! It began with old LCA who missed the old site and old ways, but that grew into a focused campaign of harassment, which dug into anything they could find to make Peter look bad. It is a sorry saga of exaggeration and misinformation, much is online. The results are lost members, some of whom were on our admin team, some feel Peter has lost too much credibility because of the lies and misinformation; they chose to believe the people who want Clear to fail. Even with these departures Clear has continued to grow, with plenty of new members joining the party.
Peter has the support of the remaining admin team, Mark, Myself and newly appointed Dan Ford, who has been doing such good work with the comment warriors. We believe Peter has the drive and passion that are essential if we are to make a difference in the modern world of campaigning, his record is Clear, his private opinions are just that, private, they are not Clear’s. We will continue to focus on the real campaign issues, and do whatever it takes to end prohibition.
We have decided that email is the fastest most secure method to run the vote, every member has a unique email address, so one vote per member.
I want you to reply to this email at email@example.com with your vote, all votes must be received by midnight – April 24th
To make it easy all you have to do is hit reply and write yes or no, then send it back, your vote is important!
1) Yes I have confidence in our present leadership.
2) No, I believe there should be a leadership election.
all the best
Jan – Clear Secretary
They started out by saying that everyone who criticised Peter is a liar and to vote for him? Hmm, that’s fair. Oh, and two days later Peter himself sent out a message asking people to vote for him:
Why I Deserve Your Vote Of Confidence
If you have already voted, then thank you.
If you haven’t, then I am writing to encourage you to do so, whether or not you’re voting for me!
The party needs to speak with a CLEAR voice, so the more members who vote the better.
If you haven’t voted, you can do so by simply replying to this email. The votes don’t come to me, they go directly to Jan Wells, the party treasurer and secretary. She is checking each one for valid membership and duplication.
Naturally, I think I deserve your vote. I believe I am the right man for the job. I get results.
I invite you to compare my record with that of any other cannabis campaigner. No one works harder or achieves more in the war against prohibition. Under my leadership, CLEAR has become the largest, membership-based, drug reform group Britain has ever seen. We have put the cannabis issue back on the agenda as never before. Our campaign is professional, evidence-based and tightly focused We are being taken seriously. We are no longer regarded in the same light as the Monster Raving Loony party.
We have commisioned the most up to date, independent, expert research on cannabis in Britain. We have forced the media to stop publishing lies and misinformation about cannabis. We have taken our campaign right into the Houses of Parliament and we dominate the evidence in the HASC drugs inquiry.
I stand on my record. Inevitably, I have ruffled feathers and upset some people but I am not here to make friends. CLEAR is not a cannabis users social club. it is a serious campaign for change. If I had known the abuse and harassment I would be subject to, I would never have started along this path but now I am here I owe a duty to those who have placed their trust in me.
I really don’t know anyone else who is capable of doing the job that I do. Believe me, I’m very interested in finding the right person to succeed me. I would love to find someone to share my workload who has the ability, brains and drive to get on with it and eventually take over.
So please vote! Have your say! Speak loud, proud and CLEAR!
Yes I have confidence in our present leadership.
No, I believe there should be a leadership election.
Hit reply or email firstname.lastname@example.org and say “Yes” or “No” – all votes must be received by midnight – April 24th.
Thank you for reading.
So, the person subject to the vote of no confidence was given an exclusive platform to tell everyone to vote for him? Hmm, fair.
Even setting aside that, it is evident that a lot of fully paid up Clear members never even saw those newsletters because they weren’t informed of the vote at all.
I wasn’t surprised by the outcome of this vote, but I am surprised by just how blatant the effort to bias the vote was, and I hope this continues to serve as a wake-up call to the discontented membership who have been increasingly objecting to having their comments deleted from the CLEAR website and Facebook wall. However, all is not lost – there’s some interesting new developments happening in the next month or two, so watch this space.
In the meantime, if anyone fancies trying their luck auditing the election results, Peter Reynolds did promise to any “legitimate outside organisation” access to their “robust” process.