Tag Archives: Electoral Reform

The Nasty Party

‘The Nasty Party’ used to be a term applied to the Tories. This is most emphatically no longer the case.

Putting aside historical issues for a moment and looking at recent weeks:

Kathz wrote about an issue (mirror) which I noted, but did not post about until now. That is of Labour playing nasty in Crewe.

The Labour Party is putting out an official leaflet which carries a picture of the Conservative candidate and the question, “Do you oppose making foreign nationals carry an ID card?”

Maybe the Conservative party policy isn’t clear on the issue. But Labour (government) policy isn’t just about foreign (non-EEC, by the way) nationals. Soon we shall all have to carry ID cards. The government is preparing to collect our biometric details so that it can store them on a database. The ID scheme targeting foreign nationals is simply starting with a soft target – people who don’t have votes.

The Labour leaflet in Crewe hasn’t been published to open up a debate on ID cards. The government has made it very clear that the introduction of ID cards is not open to debate. This leaflet is about race. It’s about fuelling fear and race hatred to hold a vulnerable seat in a parliamentary by-election. The implication of the leaflet is that foreigners are dangerous and only the Labour Party will keep them under surveillance.

Spreading suspicion is dangerous. Mistrust is often a two-way process.

(Another source)

In other news, Labour want to institute a database recording the internet activity and phone calls of everyone in the country ‘just in case’. (source)

Jonathan Bamford, the assistant Information Commissioner, said: “This would give us serious concerns and may well be a step too far. We are not aware of any justification for the State to hold every UK citizen’s phone and internet records. We have real doubts that such a measure can be justified, or is proportionate or desirable. We have warned before that we are sleepwalking into a surveillance society. Holding large collections of data is always risky – the more data that is collected and stored, the bigger the problem when the data is lost, traded or stolen.

Let us all recall that Government doesn’t have a good track record with large databases, with multiple leaks over the past year – including the one leak of the records of some 25million families.

As an interesting aside, Guido notices that the number of stress related sick days at the treasury has dramatically reduced since Brown became PM.

Electoral Reform in the UK

Democracy isn't Deskbound

Make Votes Count has re-branded their campaign, and produced an action plan, which I reproduce below:

Continue on to the MVC WebsiteView the Campaign Launch Photos

6 Things you can do

1. Petition the Prime Minister. Sign our petition to Gordon Brown

2. Pledge to a Consultation. Sign the pledge and show people's willingness to be consulted

3. Write to your MP. Ask them to forward your comments to the Minister

4. Contact your nearest PR Politican. Enlist the support of your MEPs/AMs/MSPs

5. Have your say: Governance of Britain. Tell the Ministry of Justice that voting systems matter

6. Donate to the Campaign. Help us maximise what we can achieve

If you would like to post this to your website, see the previous post for the code.

Make Votes Count Code

Democracy isn’t Deskbound

If you want to make this post to your own site, just grab this code….

<a href="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/"><img src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/logo.jpg" alt="Democracy isn't Deskbound" width="580" height="150" /></a>
<a href="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/">Make Votes Count</a> has re-branded their campaign, and produced an action plan, which I reproduce below:
<a href="http://www.makemyvotecount.org.uk/news.html"><img class="five" name="continue" src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/buttons/continue-swap.png" alt="Continue on to the MVC Website" /></a><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/makevotescount/"><img class="five" name="view" src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/buttons/view-swap.png" alt="View the Campaign Launch Photos" /></a>
<img class="title" src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/6-things.gif" alt="6 Things you can do" title="6 Things you can do" /><br/><a href="http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/deskbound/"><img class="thing" src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/thing-1.png" alt="1. Petition the Prime Minister. Sign our petition to Gordon Brown" title="1. Petition the Prime Minister. Sign our petition to Gordon Brown" /></a>

<a href="http://www.pledgebank.com/votingmatters"><img class="thing" src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/thing-2.png" alt="2. Pledge to a Consultation. Sign the pledge and show people's willingness to be consulted" title="2. Pledge to a Consultation. Sign the pledge and show people's willingness to be consulted" /></a>

<a href="http://www.makemyvotecount.org.uk/opus26009.html"><img class="thing" src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/thing-3.png" alt="3. Write to your MP. Ask them to forward your comments to the Minister" title="3. Write to your MP. Ask them to forward your comments to the Minister" /></a>
<a href="http://www.makemyvotecount.org.uk/opus26011.html"><img class="thing" src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/thing-4.png" alt="4. Contact your nearest PR Politican. Enlist the support of your MEPs/AMs/MSPs" title="4. Thank your nearest PR Politican. Enlist the support of your MEPs/AMs/MSPs" /></a>
<a href="http://www.makemyvotecount.org.uk/opus25967.html"><img class="thing" src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/thing-5.png" alt="5. Have your say: Governance of Britain. Tell the Ministry of Justice that voting systems matter" title="5. Have your say: Governance of Britain. Tell the Ministry of Justice that voting systems matter" /></a>
<a href="http://www.makemyvotecount.org.uk/donate.html"><img class="thing-last" src="http://www.makevotescount.org.uk/i/thing-6.png" alt="6. Donate to the Campaign. Help us maximise what we can achieve" title="6. Donate to the Campaign. Help us maximise what we can achieve" /></a>
If you would like to post this to your website, see <a href="http://blog.murky.org/make-votes-count-code/">murky.org</a> for the code.

Democracy isn’t Deskbound

The recent Scottish Elections

Following the recent elections in Scotland which had a high number of spoiled ballots, we see a debate in westminster about the administration of the election as well as other electoral issues:

I do not know how to hack into systems, but some people do. If the Pentagon can be hacked into, the Blaby district council website on conducting elections can be. It is as simple as that. No one in the House has any idea what it could lead to if we go down the route of e-voting.

Andrew Robathan (Blaby, Conservative) (Source)

My Lords, when will the Government honour their manifesto promise to put to the people in a referendum the issue of elections to the House Commons? Does the Prime Minister designate regard this issue as a vital ingredient in his campaign to reconnect citizens with their Parliament? I am grateful to the Minister for indicating that the report will take into account recent elections, but will she take this opportunity to reiterate and emphasise that the 141,891 spoilt ballot papers in Scotland were on the first-past-the-post and top-up ballot paper and not on the proportional representation STV ballot paper for local councils?

Lord Tyler (Liberal Democrat) (Source)

The Full Debate is here