Comment posted Misleading instructions to voters: is Duncan Macintyre trawling for 4th preference votes? by Tim McIntyre.
Dave McEwan Hill’s point that we used to have too many uncontested council seats is certainly valid.
Mind you, maybe more people are standing for election these days for other reasons….
Tim McIntyre also commented
- Ken – politics certainly has changed since the 60s, and your story is a good example of that. There are doubtless many reasons for this, but the voting system is arguably not one of them – our MPs and constituency MSPs are still elected by FPP.
True, the regional MSPs give a more proportional result at Holyrood, which I have no argument with.
At local authority level I’m less convinced that the PR system has been an improvement. The wards are geographically too big for the councillors to get completely to grips with, especially in the rural areas. They can work together to divide up the wards into ‘patches’ which they nominally take responsibility for, but that responsibility is greatly diluted.
That’s not to say that there are not some advantages – as pointed out above by Anne & Dave McEwan Hill, but personally I still think the new system is not an improvement overall.
- The STV system should never have been introduced in sparsely populated rural/small town areas for council elections.
The confusion it causes voters (and indeed some councillors, it would seem) is bad enough – much worse, it has severely diluted the clear link which used to exist between each councillor and his or her constituents.
PR/STV might make some sense in city areas where it can help to break single-party domination, but not in predominantly rural councils where the wards are now geographically far too big.
Recent comments by Tim McIntyre
- Problems with both pro-indy and pro-union campaigns
“Johnson is also the Mayor of the UK’s biggest USP – the majestic London.
Most of us wouldn’t want to live there but who doesn’t want it as ‘ours’ – the international envy of its huge economic engine…”
I’m pretty sure this is the first time I have seen the conspicuous and ever-increasing concentration of the UK nations’ wealth and power in London portrayed as the ‘positive case for the union’
- PR gaffes in Community Land Scotland’s ‘Bunchrew Land Declaration’
Is it just me, or does this article, and the comments which follow, concentrate solely on sniping at the title of the initiative because no-one has anything interesting to say about its intent?
From Rhoda Grant’s quote above: “The declaration also acknowledges the deep divisions in Scotland’s land ownership patterns addressing the terrible reality that fewer than 500 people own half of Scotland’s land.”
That statistic is surely a pretty shocking anachronism in the 21st century isn’t it?
- Donors, public money and funding the independence referendum campaigns
Karl – “…if the SG ( SNP) had pushed the devo-max option I would have supported it 100%”
They did. It was Westminster that refused the third option on the ballot paper.
- The no-no campaign
Jamie – I’m not sure if your point is about corroboration or democracy. Majority governing parties pushing through unpopular measures despite opposition is hardly indicative of a democratic crisis – it happens all the time in Westminster, where coalition government is the exception not the rule.
In Scotland at the moment, there is a combination of lack of voter participation (turnout at Holyrood elections far too low) and a lack of credible opposition (other major parties sending all their best & brightest to serve in Westminster where the real power lies). Those two factors could be argued to mean that our democracy functions less than effectively. Oh, and the lack of a constitution or other means to check the power of politicians.
- The no-no campaign
That’s fine in principle Robert, but I think there is a fair expectation that journalists will at least try to interrogate people in positions of high authority who make assertions that are of crucial importance to a debate – you can’t dismiss something said by Mr Barroso as a mere ‘opinion’, like yours or mine – he’s the president of the EC! Marr should have gone into strong devil’s-advocate mode (as he did with Salmond) and drilled down into WHY Barroso thinks that. Perhaps it would have been genuinely enlightening, or perhaps we would have seen just as much prevarication as you say he got from Salmond.
As former BBC Scotland journalist Derek Bateman said on his blog afterwards: “If you have a title, you get automatic respect from the national broadcaster, no matter what you actually say.”
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