Monthly Archives: November 2012

uKippered – need an Alternative?

So a Tory campaign group lead by Michael Fabricant is recommending an electoral pact with UKIP (BBC News 26 November 2012)

He says an electoral pact with UKIP – in which the Conservatives would promise a referendum after 2015 and in return UKIP would not stand against Tory candidates – could help the Conservatives win an extra 20-40 seats at the next election.

This is surely nearly the ultimate in cynicism.  He is recommending that the Conservatives prostitute themselves to UKIP in exchange for extra seats.  Who wins seats should be up to the electorate. Continue reading

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Supplementary Voting

Some commentators have tried to explain away the high number of “spoilt ballots” in last weeks PCC election as the public being confused by the voting system.  Detailed analysis of the spoilt ballots might confirm this, but I am left wondering why they did not use the simpler Alternative Vote?  Oh, yes they screwed up a referendum on that issue earlier this year. Continue reading

Choosing Political Systems

What do the results of:

  • Mayoral Referenda earlier this year that rejected the concept of mayors in all places asked other than Bristol
  • The Referendum yesterday in Hartlepool  that voted to get rid of their elected mayor in favour of a committee system.
  • The low turnout in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections yesterday (In Cleveland – where there have been problems with the Police Authority – it was a magnificent 14.7%)

have in common?

They all reflect a rejection of figure-head politics in favour of a representative politics. A rejection I welcome. Continue reading

Police and Crime Commissioner Elections

I have just received a leaflet through my letter box asking me to vote for a political candidate to be my police commissioner – I feel slightly sick, queasy and as if I am being forced to be pseudo-American.

Currently the police (keepers of the Queen’s Peace – not the Government’s or any political party’s) respond to a Police Authority. Mine has 17 members, eight local Councillors, one Elected Mayor and eight Independent Members from communities across the whole force area.  The councillors are drawn from urban and rural areas and appear to come from a variety of parties – I feel confident there is someone who will understand my concerns.

The commmissioner will in all likelihood be from the largest demographic in my force’s area and despite being required to take an “oath of independence” will have an eye to re-election by his or her supporters.  This is a reduction in representative diversity.  He or she will not be able to represent such a diversity of concerns as are found across a force area.

I was in the North East during the miner’s strike – the policed were politicised then and the situation has not recovered.  This stupid move will not change things.

The government (which has not put this particular constitutional reform to a plebicite) says we do not know our police authority members, but will know our Police Commissioner.

  1. The Police Commissioner should not be “high profile” – it smells of Robo-cop.
  2. I can find out the names of my police authority members in about 10 seconds on the internet – together with contact details for each member.
  3. By the same logic, do we abolish MPs (most people do not know the names of their MP) and replace them with elections for:
    • Finance Commissioner
    • Foreign Affairs Commissioner
    • Defence Commissioner
    • Education Commissioner
    • etc.?

Stupid, stupid, stupid – and rather sickening.

Worrying about the US & Elections in general

As we approach the US elections (tomorrow), I wonder what will decide it.

Who is the candidate best able to lead the USA (in the view of Americans – taking a wide view)?

Or:

  • Who wins the Electoral College?
  • Who wins the court battles?
  • Who wins the advertising war (a function of funding)?
  • Who wins the media battle where the media is deregulated and in places highly partisan?
  • Who is unable to vote because of last-minute “found” irregularities in their registration?
  • Who is unable to vote because voting out of working hours has been restricted?
  • Whose vote is not counted because the voting machine in certain districts did not properly cut out their chad?
  • Who is unable to vote because post-Sandy, there is no power for voting machines or polling stations are closed or moved?
  • Who is unable to vote because post-Sandy, they have more vital things to do?

Is this the best way to decide who leads the USA and, by definition, the Western World? Continue reading