Monday 7 May 2007

The voting "fiasco"

Doctorvee has written about it here:
The problems with e-counting were a minor problem. The pundits on television were really annoyed about it — but I think that was because they were unable to report a result. The bottom line is, the results are in and they are correct. We hope they are correct anyway — and there is no real suggestion that the e-counting machines were misreading votes.
That's correct, although why anyone would select a computer system that has Neil Kinnock as a director is another matter...

Oops, I forgot: the selectors were the Labour administration.

Doctorvee goes on to say:

But the bottom line is that the instructions were reasonably clear and it wasn’t difficult.
In the Times Melanie Reid writes:
What is now crystal clear is that the poorer and more ill-educated the voters were, the more likely they were to put the wrong marks in the wrong places, and unwittingly invalidate their forms.

In the constituency of Glasgow Shettleston, an area in the east end of the city that routinely tops all the poverty and deprivation indices for the UK, there were 2,035 rejected ballots, representing almost 12 per cent of the turnout.

Yes, the ballot papers did require a bit of attention to get them right. (I'm reasonably sure that I didn't accidentally vote for Tommy Sheridan!) But I have to say that there's too much veneration for democracy going on in the aftermath of "Confusing Thursday". I can't help agreeing with those who say: "If they can't even fill in a (reasonably) simple form, why should they expect to have a say in running the country?"

The unasked question is this: Why do we have so much democracy in the first place?

I don't necessarily object to voting for politicians as long as they restrict their activities to the bare minimum. There is no reason at all why schools and education (for starters) shouldn't be left entirely to the market. Indeed, were schools in Shettleston and Baillieston removed from the control of politicians it's highly likely that the locals would quickly learn how to buy education products and how to vote.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Andrew Ian Dodge
I think there is a deliberate attempt by politicians to make voting as complicated as possible. Why isn't there a choice for "all Tories" or "all SNP" like there are in some places in the US for the parties.

11 May 2007, 23:44:10 GMT+01:00
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Mr Annoyed
I too, think most things should be left to the market, but it annoys me to hear this again and again.... 
"If they can't even fill in a (reasonably) simple form, why should they expect to have a say in running the country?" 
I mean come on, there is more than one reason people could have messed it up...... 
Dyslexia doesn't mean someone is stupid, they just don't read well. 
Some people are just not good with forms - hasn't there been studies about this? 
Bad eyesight; were all the booths well lit? 
Maybe they were in a hurry to go to their job; to make more money for the politicians to waste. 
Maybe they just misread it. Have you never misread something? It happens. 
And of course, some people are a bit thick, but you seem to be straying from your libertarianism a tad, here. What next, eugenics? 
And yes, I do think many of the spoiled ballots can be blamed on decades of the leftist education system.

9 May 2007, 02:56:39 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer
Not yet!

8 May 2007, 23:36:23 GMT+01:00
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Has there been any time in Scottish history when education has been left to the market to provide?

8 May 2007, 07:41:12 GMT+01:00