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Saturday, March 20, 2004

Vote early, vote often

And now the Government's plan to introduce postal voting on June 10th is in trouble. Their insistence on ignoring the very sound advice of the Electoral Commission that a postal voting pilot in the North West and other regions would be unsafe has led to them almost losing the legislation that is necessary to allow these pilots to happen. Labour must learn that the electoral process cannot be played with in this way. If they do not put adequate safeguards in place to deal wth fraud and to protect the integrity of the ballot then they cannot expect the support of the other parties. As I have argued before, postal ballots may increase turnout but they do not address the fundamental alienation of the electorate from the political process. As on so many other matters the Government is taking the course of least resistance in order to be seen to be doing something.

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