Election 2016: Douglas Ross aims to keep putting Moray first

Douglas Ross
Douglas Ross

Firstly I’d like to thank insideMoray for the opportunity afforded to all candidates to contribute to this regular series throughout the campaign.

By the time it gets to Election Day on the 5th May people will no doubt be fed up with election leaflets and canvassers at their door or on the high street. However, this column gives everyone the chance to state their case and allow readers to digest all the various options in the campaign.

I plan to focus on a variety of different issues over the next few weeks – but for my first article in this series I wanted to explain why I’m asking people to vote for me on the purple ballot paper and for Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives on the peach ballot paper.

I was born and brought up in Moray and with the exception of a few years studying agriculture at college it has been my home for my entire life. That’s one of the reasons I have put myself forward in this election, and previous elections.

I’m passionate about Moray and I want to see it having a strong local voice standing up for everyone that lives and works here.

In my time on Moray Council I have always put the interests of my local constituents before party politics. All politicians say they will do it, but I believe I have the track record that shows my actions speak as loud as my words on this commitment.

Whether it was standing up with fantastic campaign groups to secure the future of Milne’s High School and voting to keep it open, or leading the charge in the council chamber to end the long running saga of the Western Link Road, I have always tried to put the views of local people at the heart of my decision making and I promise to continue that as the area’s MSP.

People don’t want an MSP who simply does as they’re told or sits or their hands when it comes to key local decisions.

They want someone who is willing to think outside the box, willing to face the wrath and criticism of colleagues if they are fighting for something they believe in. That has been my style and approach since 2007 on Moray Council and is the background I would take into the Scottish Parliament if elected next month.

As has been mentioned in other articles, everyone has two votes at this election. As I go around Moray I am making the case for people to support me as the local candidate and also to support Ruth Davidson on the Regional ballot by voting Scottish Conservative there too.

Many people have commented on how impressive Ruth has been in this campaign and as far back as the independence referendum almost two years ago.

She fought that campaign as a proud Unionist and is fighting this campaign as a proud Scottish Conservative and Unionist.

While opinion polls are currently suggesting the SNP could be returned as the party of government, the same polls are showing that the position of official opposition is too close to call. It will be a big task for the Conservatives to overtake Labour, but it’s doable.

People like the Scottish Conservative message that tax should be the same across the United Kingdom, rather than the proposals from the other parties which would see it become the highest taxed part of the UK.

And people can see Ruth Davidson standing up for them and holding the SNP to account. At present we have a left wing government and a left wing opposition. Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives would drag the Parliament back to the centre ground and I think that would be good for people in Moray and across Scotland.

In this opening gambit on insideMoray I have tried to give a bit of information about me, my ambitions if elected and what you can expect from a strong team of Scottish Conservatives in the Parliament.

Over the next few weeks I look forward to submitting more policy specific articles. In the meantime, if anyone would like to contact me directly then please email me on douglas4moray@gmail.com or contact me on twitter @douglas4moray.

All four Moray candidates in the 2016 Parliamentary Election plus the Moray Greens have been invited to submit their views on one day each week until Friday, April 29 – they will then be invited to sum-up their cases on Sunday, May 1 in a final address on insideMoray before the election.