Comment posted Misleading instructions to voters: is Duncan Macintyre trawling for 4th preference votes? by Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll.
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.
Integrity? Not in the ConDemAll also commented
- 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?’
- 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
- Jackie Baillie to lead Holyrood Labour group for the time being
The same can be said for just about all political parties.
lets look at the SNP as there really are only two parties of note in Scotland just now.
Salmond stands down – there only ever was one potential replacement. Sturgeon was a shoeing for the job because nobody had a hope of beating her. Not because she is outstanding and the rest only great. But because she is good and the rest either average or poor.
Equally about being challenged from within. Don’t tell me for one second that Salmond stood for being challenged from within. He probably tolerated it less than any other leader in the country.
You are simply describing all parties there, not just Labour.
- So who’s in the SNP Council Group today – and should they be?
I am not a fan of the multi member ward system. However whilst I would welcome it being abandoned I tend to think that is simply papering over the cracks. Local Government in Scotland needs a far more dramatic overhaul than that.
32 local authorities is a ridiculous number to have for a country with a population only just exceeding 5 million. There are over 1,200 councillors in Scotland with the geographical area for local authorities ranging from about 25 square miles to about 12,500 square miles! Similarly the population ranges from about 20,000 to well over half a million.
Cutting the number of councillors is going to make an insignificant impact to costs in the grand scheme of things. For example the total cost of councillors to A&B in 2013/14 made up about 0.7% of total employee costs. So yes there are some savings that could be made but they are not going to deliver radical savings or a material reinvestment in service delivery.
I would kick start a major overhaul of local government by reducing the number of councils in Scotland from 32 to maybe between 15 or 20. Once we have a more manageable number of local authorities then proper consideration can be given to devolving power to them, and reintroducing more fiscal control at a local level (which should begin with abandoning the council tax freeze and reversing the centralisation of policy making that is associated with the freeze). Councils should be given the appropriate levers to determine what is strategically best for their area, reflecting local needs, in terms of increasing or decreasing taxation (and not just council tax).
Having less councils wouldn’t totally rid us of the issue of some councils having relatively small populations compared to others (due to the geography of Scotland) but it would mean there is less power hoarded by the two big city councils. Hopefully this would result in more meaningful efforts at partnership working and shared services without the ‘little guys’ being muscled out by overpowering large councils.
It always seemed strange to me that Scotland was moving toward being an independent country at the same time as there being ongoing centralisation of power within Scotland itself. It is a contradiction in democratic will.
- 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’
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