Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tory candidates appeal for vote-rigging investigation into Glasgow Regional list, the Electoral Commission needs to hold public enquiry

Dear All

As you may know I have two problems with the regional list.

1/ it can produce trash as candidates.

2/ it can be rigged.

Yes, democracy can be bought in areas like Glasgow by simply signing up people to political parties as ‘members’.

These ‘members’ then simply cast their vote for a certain candidate and in some cases their membership is bought for them by others!

And the ‘members’ don’t attend branch meetings.

Or do activism with proper members.

After casting their vote, their membership suddenly lapses after a year; then the process is repeated come election time again.

The political leadership of Scottish Parties know this is going on but sit silently by doing nothing.

Citing no rules has been broken.

Now, two Tory candidates have demanded an investigation into their own party’s ranking process after making allegations of vote-rigging for May’s Holyrood election.

This isn’t the first party to experience this problem.

They have alleged there was a questionable boost to the Conservative membership in Glasgow which skewed a result that will determine which Conservatives are elected to the Scottish Parliament as list MSPs.

Glasgow is the vote rigging capital of the Holyrood regional list.

The pair also claim that a significant number of ballot forms contained similar handwriting as well as other alarming alleged irregularities.

So, how do you rig the Glasgow regional list?

The simplest way is to use a minority group and sign up ‘members’ to the party as unwaged.

It is the cheap option to rig the vote.

In some cases the ‘unwaged’ stay in mansions, whole families of them!

What remarkable money management skills.

The new row over vote rigging of the Glasgow regional list, centres on Rutherglen which saw 150 new members joined the Conservative association in the months running up to the election.

Previously allege that the same association’s membership stood at 17.

17 people!

Now 167!

They also allege that visits to the homes of the new recruits uncovered various issues as they describe them.

Also a senior Tory source said there were concerns over ballot forms being collected by a third party.

And this is reminiscent of what was happening in another political party.

Striking similarities and practices!

I wonder if the databases of the mainstream political parties were crossed referenced would the same ‘members’ signed up appear?

The two men state:

“The membership and ballot papers show there has been electoral malpractice in the Glasgow regional list rankings. So this is a formal representation for a full investigation.”

Tory Councillor David Meikle said yesterday:

“I can confirm that a letter was sent calling for an investigation into the list rankings, but I do not wish to comment further.”

The letter was sent to Tory HQ.

The Tory story as I said has striking similarity to what has happened elsewhere in Glasgow.

Mass sign ups, collection by a third party and members who may or may not appear on the voter roll.

I wonder if the investigation will also flag up the new ‘members’ had their membership paid for in cash, at the unwaged level and by a third party.

I don’t think an internal investigation by the Tories is enough or appropriate, they should bring in the Electoral Commission.

And the Electoral Commission should expand their investigation to other parties, this means parties should surrender their membership lists to the Electoral Commission so they can be checked and cross referenced.

We need a full public enquiry nothing less.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Soosider said...

Great post Mr. Laird and you are spot on as usual. The problem of muslims rigging the vote is a scandal.

Anonymous said...

Good post.

Tinie Tempah said...

Read this, not just a Conservative problem.

IainGray4FM said...

Did nationalists in Glasgow have a problem with this?
They buried it did they not George?
I am sure the public won't forget this come May 5th in Glasgow. Muslims tried this in the Labour Party too and it was stamped out hard.
SNP will have plenty of time to sort this out when they lose the election in 53 days time.
Looking forward to see your blogging on the results of Glasgow seats.
Nicole Sturgeon is going to Holyrood but as a list MSP.
Stephen Curran will be MSP for Glasgow Southside.
Care to place a bet George?

George Laird said...

Dear IainGray4FM

"Nicole Sturgeon is going to Holyrood but as a list MSP".

Try getting her name right, it is Nicola Sturgeon.

Ever thought about being a spelling instructor seconded to the Glasgow University media unit?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University