Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Electoral Commission: Sam Younger Question 10

Dear Sam Younger

Should certain bad practices e.g. blatant dishonesty in content e.g. use of parliamentary allowances for small c campaigning e.g. paid advertising on campaign material be specifically outlawed and very severe penalties be introduced?

For example: A re-run of an election with all opposing parties being reimbursed by the offender.

For example: Votes for a rule breaking candidate being ignored and the next best candidate being elected.

At the moment existing rules, such as they are, don't seem to be enforced.

There is no deterrence for bad behaviour.

Paradoxically, the most honest and upstanding individuals and their parties in a particularly tight corner could well be disadvantaged by the lack of real supervision.

Although they might otherwise be the best bet for the constituents.

The amount that is spent clearly makes a difference. In the constituency given in the first example voters explained their vote:

"We got eleven leaflets from X and only two from Y. Meaning X cared more and got our vote."

In reality X was very likely cheating.

Best wishes

Labour of Love

Mr Younger is appearing on 18 Doughty Street tomorrow. Iain wants question suggestions. Here are ten of many, concentrating on election spends nitty gritty. Other posts in series "clocked" back one year.


Yasmin Zalzala said...

Good Questions

I have written to the EC on several occasions and the conclusion is that my problem is not within their remit

Yet I clearly remember an EC official in an interview re ethnic minority representation in parliament.

May be they are like the Legal Services Commission, incompetent and living in cloud cuckoo land

Chris Paul said...

I'm not sure that the word "incompetent" is quite right Yasmin. It is certainly loaded and negative! I'd say that in the case of the Electoral Commission they have good people and that Sam Younger is OK but that that they don't have the resource to get the job done in the immediate term.

Perhaps this will change.

Anonymous said...

In the case of Withington X very definitely was cheating and a letter very like that one praising his prolific leafleting did appear in the local paper.