Welcome to a 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 tenth profile in this series is Douglas Ross.
What’s your name? Douglas Ross
Where are you standing? Moray and Highlands and Islands
Which party are you standing for? Scottish Conservatives
How old are you? 33
What is your current job/role? Councillor on Moray Council for the Fochabers-Lhanbryde ward.
What have been your previous jobs/roles? I worked as a dairyman on several farms prior to my election as a councillor.
Why are you standing? Moray and the Highlands and Islands is the area I was born and brought up in.
I think we need a strong local voice to champion the needs of the people living and working here.
Earliest political memory? Clearly my memory is not that great as it doesn’t go back much further than the 1997 General Election! I took part in a mock election at school that year which I won, and then I watched the results coming in through the night and the next day.
First election you can remember? I’m afraid it’s 1997 again. It doesn’t seem that long ago but it’s almost twenty years so maybe my memory isn’t as bad as I thought.
Where do you see Scotland in five years? I hope to see it as a country using its powers sensibly. Not simply taxing as much as possible because we have more powers, but scrutinising how we are spending taxpayers money, ensuring they get the best value. It’s their money after all.
Favourite campaigning anecdote? I was leafletting in my home town of Forres and there was a frosted front door but you could still clearly make out what was behind it. As I approached I could see the silhouette of a human crouching down. As I put the leaflet through they started barking and scratching the door. As I made a hasty retreat up the path there was a knock on the window with the gentleman proudly holding my leaflet and giving me the thumbs up. I’m not sure if he was supporting me or just giving me credit for delivering the leaflet despite the antics of his ’dog’.
Tell us something not many people know about you I’m a football referee and officiate in all levels of football in Scotland up to the Premiership as an assistant referee. I’m also on the FIFA list of international assistant referees so I do games for FIFA and UEFA.
Biggest vice/guilty pleasure? I have an extremely sweet tooth so while I try to get out running a lot it probably makes little difference as I just tend to eat more chocolate when I’ve been training.
What do you perceive to be the next big issue in Scottish politics? Accountability. While it was not expected that there would be a one-party majority in the Scottish Parliament we have now had one Parliament with it and could have another.
It’s recognised the committee system is not robust enough so that has to change. If the Parliament and MSPs are to get the respect of our electorate we have to show that decisions are scrutinised and debated, not just voted through on block by the biggest party with no further examination.
Favourite place in the world? Italy. Anywhere in the country really but I love the food, the people and the surroundings.
How do you relax away from politics? It may seem a strange way to relax but I find refereeing is a great way to get away from the pressures of politics or a campaign. You have to be fully focussed for the 90 minutes which takes your mind off the arguments you have been having in the council or at hustings. Although while I try to forget politics while I’m on the pitch a number of fans tend to remind me of my political leanings using choice language when I give a foul against their team.
More #16for16 profiles: