Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Banana Republic

Tales of arguments, threats, voter intimidation and chaos when counting ballot papers would lead many to think that these stories were from a despotic country. Unfortunately, this was the picture described by many in the borough of Tower Hamlets in East London.

This is not the first time we have heard similar allegations from Tower Hamlets, but on this occasion, things were so bad that the result of the local elections were not declared until 5 days after the poll. The Electoral Commission is the body which oversea elections in the UK.

Until rules were tightened, we had allegations of postal vote fraud on an industrial scale. We have farce which is Tower Hamlets and also the appalling decision to allow a political party called an Independence From Europe to be registered.

Now lets be clear, I do not have much truck for UKIP, but it was clear at the European Election count on Sunday that there was voter confusion between UKIP and an Independence From Europe. The Electoral Commission was established to avoid voter confusion between political parties when a candidate once famously put themselves on the ballot paper as a Literal Democrat.

Fortunately, both the European and Local Election polls here in Southend were conducted in exemplary fashion. I do however have to question whether the Electoral Commission is now actually fit for purpose.

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