"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, May 04, 2007

Scottish voters, confused, disenfranchised,.. and the computers failed as well.

Probably as many as 100,000 Scottish voters have been disenfranchised, as they have failed to understand how to complete the two voting slips they were presented with yesterday. So whatever the results are they will not represent the voting intentions of those who took part.

Voters were presented with three ballots on 2 voting papers for two seperate elections ;

A. For the Holyrood elections - One paper combining 2 lists
1. For a named individual candidate which required a single "X"
2. For the "top-up regional list" where voters cast a preference for party only, not candidate, which required a single "X"

B. For local authority elections under the new Single Transferable Vote system requring the need to mark their First and Second preference with a "1", "2", "3" etc.,

A combination of poor design, inedequately clear instructions and lack of experience resulted in many thousands of ballot papers being inadvertently spoilt... and threfore rejected from the count.

On top of this there has evidently been malfunctioning automatic mark sense reading equipment and associated software.

This must have affected the results - for example, in Airdrie and Shotts, Labour's majority of 1,446 was less than the total of 1,536 rejected ballots. In some constituencies up to 7% of the papers were declared spoilt.

The Guradian quote Alex Salmond ...

"The postal voting arrangements for this election across Scotland were totally inadequate.

"It is also the case that the decision to conduct an STV election at the same time as a first-past-the-post ballot for the Scottish parliament was deeply mistaken.

"As a direct result, tens of thousands of votes across Scotland have been discounted this evening.

"That is totally unacceptable in a democratic society."

Ken Ritchie,
the chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, which is monitoring the election, said the situation was "shocking and intolerable".

He added: "We have no reason to believe there's any political bias but its hugely unsatisfactory.

The Scotland Office minister, David Cairns, told the BBC:

"There is clearly an issue about the number of spoilt ballot papers."

It beggars belief that in a modern, educated democracy that such a result could be produced. There will of course be a lot of blowing hard but nothing will happen ...but you can be certain that after the necessary emollient "Inquiry" ...er... "lessons will be learnt."

.. and everyone who lost will claim the election was stolen from them.


cmain said...

It also obscures how many people are deliberately spoiling their ballot as an act of protest.

My Mum told me yesterday that she and my Dad had decided, for the first time ever (and they are now both about 70), not to vote at all as it was so pointless. We have had it drummed into us to vote because of the struggles people had to go through to get us the vote, but that has worn too thin. There is a dangerous vacuum out there.

kosmik knight said...

There is a connection between Data Research Services and Diebold, the company responsible for the US 2005 Prez Election frauds.

Peladon, a company owned by DRS is reported to have bought imaging systems from Diebold. Sounds dodgy does it not?

The FPTP/AV system worked well in 1999 and in 2004. It was combining it with the municipal STV voting system that seems to have caused the chaos. If the two polls had been held separately with more publicity on the difference between the systems both could have been held the traditional way without the need for electronic machines. It may have taken a week to sort out the municipal STV results, a small price to pay for reliability.

kosmik knight said...

Sorry, that should have read "US 2004 Prez frauds"

paul said...

THE Scottish Executive and its associated agencies have an estimated advertising budget of up to £68m a year. Tesco spends around £67m.

Considering they spend this much telling teenagers that necking too many bacardi breezers, taking drugs and having un protected sex is a bad idea, its no wonder they didn't have any money left to show people how to fill in the ballot form

Shutter said...

Judging by the evident lack of success of the many campaigns to modify social behaviour, it might be argued that any such expenditure would have been pointless.

The system was just too baffling for some people...

It would for example be a fine test of linguistic skills and simple logical analysis to challenge any one of those voted in by the system to explain how the Single Transferable Vote system works, and to check (unaided) the arithmetic of the result that resulted in their election.

It appears that the Executive were advised by their expert, NOT to run the 2 elections simultaneously. This advice was rejected.

One is left to wonder if Lord Kinnock of Bedwetting's advice was sought or given, and if so, what it was.

kosmik knight said...

In an earlier post I mistakenly referred to the voting system used for the Scottish parliament as FPTP/AV. It is in fact the d'Hondt FPTP/AM (First Past the Post/Additional Member)system.

Interesting you mention Kinnock. Seems he is a director of DRS. We can imagine what his advice might have been.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish