Welcome to a brand new feature for ScotlandVotes ahead of May’s election. We’re calling it #16for16. 16 candidates that will be making an impact during the campaign and may be making a bigger impact in the Holyrood chamber after the election.
Our second profile is Liberal Democrat candidate Alex Cole-Hamilton, who is standing in Edinburgh Western.
What’s your Name? Alex Cole-Hamilton
Where are you standing? Edinburgh Western
Which party are you standing for? Scottish Liberal Democrats
How old are you? 38
What is your current job/role? Head of Policy for a national children’s charity.
What have been your previous jobs/roles? I’ve worked as a policy manager in children and young people’s organisations since 2003, prior to that I worked in the Scottish Parliament for the Lib Dems. I was President of Aberdeen University SRC 1999-2000 and Convener of Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights, 2013-14.
Why are you standing? I see day in and day out how wrong we are getting it for very vulnerable children and families. The Scottish Parliament has the power to change lives, but seldom exercises that power for transformational good. I want to change that. I also like helping people and want to represent the area in which my three children will grow up.
Earliest political memory? Delivering good morning election leaflets for Ming Campbell with my dad in 1987.
First election you can remember? Can just about remember the 1983 General Election.
Where do you see Scotland in five years? I think it’s on a knife edge. I think if the UK votes to leave the EU then Scotland will leave the UK. Personally I don’t think either will happen in the end, but it’s going to be very tight. If we don’t vote to leave, I think we’ll be in the UK and about to return an unpopular SNP government in the 2021 Holyrood elections, it will still be biggest party and govern in minority, until it faces a no confidence vote sometime in the following parliament.
Favourite campaigning anecdote? Definitely the D-Day landing veteran who invited me in off the doors in Craigleith last summer and taught me my first bag-pipe lesson on the same he pipes he’d played the troops ashore with at Sword Beach in Normandy.
Tell us something not many people know about you I’ve never been in a nativity play (I was going to be one of the 3 kings but got chicken pox and took the whole class out with me)
Biggest vice/guilty pleasure? Cuban cigars, or licking the cold bean juice off the spoon when I’m putting beans in the microwave for my kids.
What do you perceive to be the next big issue in Scottish politics? Taxation. Who pays what, what do we fund, what do we cut?
Favourite place in the world? Bed on a Sunday morning with my 3 kids jumping about. Or Perhentian Islands, Malaysia – proposed to my wife 20 meters beneath the South China Sea while diving there.
How do you relax away from politics? I cook dinner for friends with plenty of red wine.
Other #16for16 profiles: