Monday, 9 November 2009

Saving on the costs of democracy

I was amazed to read this on The Times website this morning - I had a proper cornflake splattering moment.

It seems Labour's latest depsperate wheeze to cling on to power could be to crack down on democracy itself.

Basically, it seems that the treasury could save about one hundred million pounds  by closing a few polling stations here and reduce voting hours there (making it harder to vote) - and make candidates pay even higher deposits (to make sure only the big parties' candidates can afford to take part - and so there are fewer people to vote for in the first place).

The moves would drive turnout down even further (a disastrous thought - especially as we've no way of knowing the extent to which the snouts-in-the-trough expenses scandal has turned people off politics for ever) and mean more voters opt to do so by post, both of which can be expected to benefit Labour.

The Government has denied any intention to tinker with the way votes are cast in this country - but I'm not sure if I believe it really. I'll certainly be watching.


  1. Ben.
    I am amazed that you are amazed.
    This is totally consistent with New Labours relentless assault on civil liberties over the past decade.
    If we did not live in a mature democracy (age rather than institutions) we would be - conspiracy theory if you will - facing an attempt by New Labour to stay in power by any means.
    New Labour are arrogant beyond belief and consumed by their own spin.
    Ignoring advice of government scientists (Nutt) and ignoring the voters has a consistency.

  2. Fair point taxrefusenik - mebbe I'm not that amazed, on reflection.

    Staggered at their gall, perhaps, a little saddenned, perhaps, but surprised, I guess not.