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Saturday, April 09, 2005

 

A stolen election?

An excellent article in the Yorkshire Post (5th April) by Michael Meadowcroft, on the matter of postal voting and electoral fraud.

Michael points out that election courts are exceptionally rare in Britain but that we face the prospect of dozens of them after this general election, as systematic fraud is uncovered in marginal seats.

He also concludes that the Electoral Commission is a waste of space.

In the light of all the evidence the Electoral Commission has finally accepted that all-postal ballots are unsafe and recommended that their use be discontinued. And the Labour government’s response to this advice from the independent commission set up to advise on electoral administration? It is ignoring it.

I find this astonishing. A party of government whose representatives have been caught in the act of electoral fraud, as a direct consequence of laws it has passed, has the nerve to disregard all the evidence and the recommendation of the independent Electoral Commission and simply to continue with a flawed electoral process for party advantage. It demonstrates just how far Labour has abandoned any ethical pretensions. Robert Mugabe would be very proud of such emulation.
Quite.

The Electoral Commission is in a position of responsibility without power and its only option is to resign.

There is simply no point in having an advisory commission which can be so cavalierly disregarded by the government. Having failed to succeed by moral imperative, its only remaining weapon is embarrassment. If it knuckles under to the government now its reputation will be ruined. The only action left to the commissioners is to resign. To do so in the defence of Britain’s cherished reputation for electoral probity would be both honourable and effective. To stay in office would be to acknowledge that the government - any government - can get away with electoral manipulation.
There is a lot of speculation about the result of this election. Few seem to realise that there is a another possibility altogether.

The potential for abuse is massive and I have no doubt that a number of marginal seats will be 'stolen' by those who set out to drive a horse and cart across the welcome mat and through the wide open door for abuse proffered by postal voting.
Far from there being a clear winner on 5th May, the outcome may well be thrown into chaos as the results in many marginal seats are challenged in the courts.

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