Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

United Kingdom, learn from Scotland's 2007 election debacle

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-13-10 01:07 PM
Original message
United Kingdom, learn from Scotland's 2007 election debacle
UNITED KINGDOM: The push to have election night counting of UK ballots is being countered by a push for the "alternative vote", a form of ranked choice voting. Likely what will happen is the UK will mandate election night counting, and if AV is adopted, then there's a good chance that the UK will follow Scotland's example and ditch hand counted paper ballots. The UK should learn from Scotland's mistakes and avoid an electoral trainwreck.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

UK MPs want votes to return to counting the votes ON election night soon after the polls close:

Plan to ensure election night counts 'may be unworkable'

Electoral Commission criticises plan requiring vote-counting to start within four hours of polls closing on election night. Feb 10, 2010

Campaigners believe overnight counting is vital to retaining interest and faith in the democratic process

The Electoral Commission said today that a government plan to ensure general election votes are counted on polling night may be unworkable.

It also appeared to criticise Jack Straw, the justice secretary, for changing election rules too close to polling day.

Straw said last night the government would support a Tory amendment to the constitutional reform and governance bill requiring vote-counting to start within four hours of the polls closing, and would allow Labour MPs a free vote on the issue.

The move, backed without a vote, comes amid fears voters could wake up the day after an election not knowing who won, after increasing numbers of local authorities indicated they intend to delay counts until the following morning...

Then, as if to sabotage their own efforts (above), MPs vote to hold a referendum for AV, which would
make vote counting exponentially more complex and incentivize computerized vote counting:

UK to hold referendum on electoral reform

Feb 10, 2010

Despite the opposition of Labour rebels and the Tory party, MPs voted 365 to 187 to ask the British people to decide
whether the traditional first-past-the-post system should be scrapped.

Under Mr Browns proposed alternative vote (AV) plan voters would rank candidates in order of preference.
The candidates ranked lowest would be eliminated until one was left with 50 per cent of the vote.
Currently, just one-third of MPs gets 50 per cent of the vote.

Meanwhile, efforts by cash-strapped local authorities to end overnight vote counting
one of the great traditions of British politics in this years election should be banned, the House of Commons ruled last night.

Ranked choice style voting combined with instant election results incentivizes computerized counting:

System used in 2007 will return for 2012 council polls

Award election contract with caution MSP
The voting and counting system now synonymous with the election night debacle of 2007 will return for the council elections in 2012, the Scottish Government has confirmed.
The governments determination to stick with STV guarantees the return of electronic counting, because a manual count would take up to three days.

See History of Scotland ditching Hand Counted Paper Ballots in May 2007:

The Scottish Elections in 2007

An Electoral Train-wreck. Scotland switched from hand counted paper ballots to computerized voting machines for the first time when implementing STV in May, 2007. They decided to use different electoral systems and voting procedures. The results of so many changes and a complex ballot resulted in a loss of 100,000 ballots and voter confidence. It is important to note that Scotland ranks better in literacy than the USA. Spoiled ballots impacted the poorer and lesser educated, but even some well educated voters had problems. On this page are news items about the May 2007 election, and at the bottom of the page some information on Scotland's literacy rate.

Not so much an election as a national humiliation

Scotlands voters were treated with arrogance and contempt
Melanie Reid Times Online May 7, 2007 ...More than 100,000 people around one in 20 of those who voted had their ballot papers rejected in the election: a figure so scandalous that analogies with hanging chads dont really begin to describe it.

The biggest poll debacle in the history of British democracy sees up to one in ten votes thrown out


"SCOTLAND'S status as a modern democracy was dealt a grievous blow yesterday by a scandal in which up to one in ten votes in the Holyrood election were thrown in the bin uncounted.

Will the UK both mandate election night counting and ultimately AV? If so, will the UK also abandon hand counted paper ballots
as did Scotland?

What more efficient way to rig an election or disenfranchise voters than to create massive chaos? Mass chaos helps cloak any deliberate election fraud and works twice as well.

Refresh | +7 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-13-10 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. That thought had occured to me too -.
Edited on Sat Feb-13-10 01:17 PM by dipsydoodle
the possible loss of our "pencils and pieces of paper". Could be that such a single important issue would decide the outcome of a referendum given sufficient publicity along the lines "would you want to risk getting a GWB here in the UK - look what the arse'ole did over there"
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-13-10 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. God Save the Machine!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-13-10 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. .
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sun Jan 21st 2018, 06:29 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC