16 days and counting to an election no one’s heard of...

30 Oct 2012


Another day, another disaster.


We now hear that £350,000 worth of ballot papers are headed for the shredder.


The farce that is the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections is continuing to thrill audiences across the country. Bi-lingual ballots matter in Wales, but 11th hour legislation had to be rushed through last night after the Government simply forgot to factor them in to the deal. The English-only ballots will now be disposed of.


To make one mistake in this election could have been regarded as misfortune. To make the dozen or so blunders the Home Office have made to date just looks careless.


There have been epic mistakes in every last detail of this election – from timing that will keep most voters at home on a dark winter’s night, to huge deposits that have kept serious candidates away, and now ballot papers which will be shortly heading into landfill.


We’ve spoken to the candidates. They’re working hard and facing a real challenge but the Home Office is doing them no favours. During Conference season one of their ministers Jeremy Brown even said it was “hard to define the role” - and if he can’t explain it we’re all in trouble.


Since then the Home Office have obliged with a few videos, and a website is finally up, but this has all come rather too late in the day.


This was meant to be a flagship policy, but a role the government has charged with serious powers is now at risk of becoming a joke.


We heard at the weekend the stories of public events with a single attendee. It still seems that few people know this election is happening, and even fewer really understand the nature of the role.


Only one thing is now certain. There are plenty of big questions that the Home Office will have to answer post-election.






3 Responses to 16 days and counting to an election no one’s heard of...

CHRIS215 8 Nov 2012

My letter to Cambridgeshire News:
There is less than a week to go to the election. The information the Government promised would be delivered to every household has not yet arrived at my house.
So far as I am aware, there have been no manifestos published and circulated by each of the candidates and no public meetings at which it would be possible to ask questions.
The Electoral Reform Society [ERS] have been expressing serious concerns about the Governments approach to these elections to which The Government has responded by shredding £350,000 worth of Ballot papers because they got the law wrong. The ERS believe that there will be a turn out of at best 18% of those eligible to vote.
This is a disastrous piece of legislation imported willy nilly from the USA that is being incompetently implemented.
My hope is that the ERS will be proved wrong, at least in Cambridgeshire. As important, I hope the successful candidate demonstrates from the start a determination to conduct an open and public dialogue with the Chief Constable about the challenges facing our constabulary. The last thing we want is a politician 'spinning' the truth to win votes whilst the Chief Constable is muzzled.
Votes from every eligible voter in Cambridgeshire are essential. Equally essential will be a constant watch on what the new Commissioner gets up to.

Chris Cheatle

Timple 9 Nov 2012

Does anyone understand how the voting system works??? I think it is 2 round AV (i.e. no winner in 1 st round over 50% all candidates except the top 2 are eliminated and 2nd preferences of the eliminated candidates are added if possible). What this means is your first pref is for you REALLY want disregarding others voting intentions - your second is for the least worst candidate you think will win (much like FPTP). BUT does the general public understand this??????

AlanR888 27 Dec 2012

I find it disgusting that the unused ballot papers should should
be destined for landfill. Why cannot they be recycled? There
is no confidential information on them!