Comment posted Misleading instructions to voters: is Duncan Macintyre trawling for 4th preference votes? by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll.
I have always felt it inappropriate that a Chief Executive be a Returning Officer due to potential conflicts of interest. This is not meant as a specific reference to A&B Council as the CE is the returning officer in a lot of local authorities (although one must wonder why A&B’s CE felt the need to replace the normal returning officer with herself).
The CE’s position is very much tied to the administration, in fact it is the only post within the Council over whose appointment (and removal) elected members have influence over. Given this it seems quite clear that they shouldn’t play a role which has any influence whatsoever over the election process.
That isn’t for one second to say that CE’s do, as a matter of rule, make inappropriate use of this influence however removing them from the role would protect them from any accusations of having done so.
A&B provides a great example just now. If I was Sally Loudon I would desperately want Dick Walsh as Council Leader with his Alliance backing him – it’s the most protection she could dream of having. What I wouldn’t want is a new administration who have been critical of her corporate management team and, therefore, her leadership. If she feels that is a distinct possibility then I would imagine her CV has been getting circulated for a number of months now. If that is the case the fact that she is still in post suggests she is not an attractive proposition to other Scottish Local Authorities and therefore her best strategy is to cling to her job with A&BC. As returning officer a few decisions may fall on her plate which would help that strategy.
Whether she makes the right decision for the appropriate reasons is not something I can question as it hasn’t happened yet (and might not happen) but it begs the question ‘Why is she, or any other CE, in a position to make these decisions?’
Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll also commented
- Why wait for the council to do it. Any member of the public can submit a complaint. Better that way as it doesn’t appear to be politically motivated.
- The ballot paper will (or should) make it clear that the voter can put as many choices as they wish and should further make clear that you put a 1 by your first choice, 2 by your second etc ec
Standard text on guidanc provided is that you need to follow the instructions as per the ballot paper or your vote MAY not be counted which does leave it open to interpretation and therefore, as Ken says, at the discretion of the returning officer. Given that A&Bs returning officer has a lot more to lose if the next council is not made up of the Alliance of Independents one could argue that her discretion MAY not be all that impartial!
Recent comments by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll
- When is Argyll and Bute going to publish its mini-count breakdown of the indy referendum vote here?
I can understand why some people would be interested in seeing a breakdown however I personally fail to see any great value in it. We don’t need to encourage further division, quite the opposite. It was a national vote where every vote carried equal weight, I think it’s better leaving it as a national result.
- Lifeline for wildlife – 5p per carrier bag in Scotland from today
I have no problem with this law. If anything I don’t think it is steep enough. I was amazed at the 80% statistic and find myself questioning it’s credibility as I wouldn’t expect 5p to be much of a deterrent. I would have preferred total removal of plastic bags and the adoption of something more in.line with French supermarkets.
- For Argyll challenge to candidates for Thursday’s Oban North & Lorn by-election
That’s right, never mind promoting the credentials of the candidate – as long as they have the same gender!
I don’t know Stephanie Irvine and am not for a second suggesting she is or isn’t a credible candidate. However I would wager if she is credible she would prefer for people to vote for her on the basis of what she can bring to the post rather than simply because of ‘women supporting women’
- General election television debates
Great more debates, just what we need, more mindless chest thumping my quips better than your quip, or fans of both camps claiming irrelevant victories.
I couldn’t care less about arguments over who should and shouldn’t be involved. I’d rather they were scrapped so money wasn’t wasted on a gruesome spectacle which serves no positive value and only paints UK politics in an ugly light.
- Argyl and Bute Councillors in trouble for non-payment of – Council Tax
I don’t disagree they should pay it Treble T. I just think a witch hunt a little unedifying. They should be treated the same way any of us would for non payment.
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