May 062010

So the election is over bar the counting.

What is clear so far, is that this election has been a complete farce. So far reports have come in from a number of constituencies alleging :-

  • Large queues of people wanting to vote locked out at 22:00 (which might be legal).
  • Large numbers of people turned away because the polling station lists were out of date.
  • People allowed to vote after 22:00 if they happened to be inside the polling station at 22:00 (which might be illegal).
  • Inadequate resources at some polling stations leading to some of the conditions above.

This election has been interesting in one respect – the amount of discussion on the inadequacies of our current voting system in that it allows governments to be formed with a total share of the vote as low as about 35%. What we now see is that the actual mechanics of organising an election need to be thoroughly reviewed.

One of the most obvious changes to make is to move the polling day from Thursday to a Saturday or Sunday. Whilst people do work at the weekend, the majority do not which allows for a more even level of traffic unlike the current position where those who work are effectively forced to vote before they go to work, after they finish work, or in rare circumstances vote at lunchtime.

I have commented before (before I started blogging but well after I started ranting) about how there is no real reason for voting on a Thursday except for the suspicion that it is convenient for the politicians, and that it is a historical legacy of a time when sneakily trying to stop the working people from voting may have been popular.

Going back to those who have been denied their right to vote; the obvious solution is for those MPs who have been elected in the relevant constituencies to resign their seats in a month or so, and to have another election. Even where the numbers denied their vote would not make a difference to the current result.

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