The Tories have foisted on an unwilling citizenry the farce of elected Police Commissioners. Early reports suggest a record low turnout. ‘Experts’ are saying that the government did not handle the election at all well. Participants were not allowed to do a mail shot to their electorate. This disenfranchises the number of folks without internet access. It presupposed that citizens would be bothered enough to find out It also reduces the impact as people chat in the street, pub or cafe.
Setting the fee at £5000 to enter the contest was anti-democratic and sets a barrier to the poor. A better method would have been to have an increased number of nominators to deter frivolous candidates. The Downing Street machine has been remarkably quiet and done little to raise the profile of the election. It has cost £75 million to hold these elections. Money which could have gone on front line policing.
As for the voters? What a choice. Most candidates have sung from the same or similar hymn sheet so what is a decision based upon?
Now the votes have been held and the turnouts are in the low teens - 13% for Greater Manchester, 15% for leafy Wiltshire and maybe 19% for the ‘Mouth of the Humber’ Prescott's area. A report has just come in from Wales stating that a ballot box from one area was returned empty! Not a single ballot paper! Not one.
The voting system, which slipped under the radar without any fuss from the same press that excoriated the LibDem attempt to reform voting, is preferential. All first preferences are counted. The top two candidates go through to a final. All the others who did not reach the final have their second preferences counted. Then a result is called.
Many people will have spoilt their papers. I did. Another expert this morning said that this system of voting typically produces about 2% of spoilt or invalid ballots. This can be putting a cross in both boxes instead of a 1 and 2. It can also be a ‘none of the above’ comment, or other written scathing remarks. How many of those are needed to render the result farcical? The Minister in charge claimed this morning that the results were legitimate! These are the same people who deride union strike ballots when they drop below 50% turnout and claim the outcome is not credible. Well they will be now!
Yet another plank has been added to the raft of omnishambolic policies put forward by this incompetent bunch of clots.
The posh clots are not turning out to be a great advert for £30,000 a year Eton. They may well know which spoon to use and which way to pass the port but they appear increasingly clueless about the things that matter.