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Britain's Voter Fraud Problem
They still call the U.K. a democracy!
Mike Cunningham (Mike66)     Print Article 
  Published 2007-05-07 10:13 (KST)   
One of the first truly major changes to the democratic process in the United Kingdom was the enfranchisement of women; when women were finally, after long years of protest, given the vote in 1918.

Nothing much changed after that, and Great Britain sleepily meandered onwards, comfortable in the knowledge that, every four or five years, the politicians asked them to walk, or ride to a named polling station to render their verdict on the politicians' own performance, and thus ensure the onward slow march of a democratic country.

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Even through both world wars, members of parliament attended the House of Commons, some wearing the uniform of their respective service, because true democracy means that, once elected, you serve at the pleasure of the electorate. All the above process was done with the simple truth that the ballot, and your vote, was secret; the count was sacrosanct, and the voter ruled throughout the whole process!

Fast forward to the entry onto the political stage of a new ideal in British political life, that of New Labour, presumed by the majority of Labour supporters to be the same as before, but a little more polished.

The leaders of the "New" branch, with names such as Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, Lord Goldsmith and Alasdair Campbell were secretly following another agenda, with the purpose of moving the British voter onto an electoral path which favored, or at least they hoped it would favor, the Labour Party.

For many years, the process of voting was a visit to the polling station, and the only variation was by a postal vote. The strict rules governing the postal vote were such that this was only granted to the infirm, the truly elderly, and those whose work or status determined that they would be absent from their home on the day of the election.

Each awarded postal vote was rigorously scrutinized, and such was the law that there were virtually no allegations of vote-rigging or electoral fraud in over 70 years of British election history. However, the New Labour politicians altered the rules so that anyone who asked for a postal vote would now get one, and their reasoning was that the vast majority of Labour supporters were thought to be too lazy to actually go to the polling stations, and so if those same lazy voters were given the opportunity to cast their vote without stirring from their comfortable homes, the vote for the Labour candidates would dramatically rise!

Problems arose firstly in Birmingham some two years ago, shortly after the postal voting process was revised. Allegations of ballot rigging were leveled and proved against certain Labour councilors, and after trial they were disbarred from their elected seats, and the opposing people were given them instead. A High Court judge was quoted as describing the local election process as "fraud which would disgrace a banana republic!" He also found "overwhelming" evidence of widespread vote-rigging during the local elections in Birmingham last June and ordered re-runs of the polls in two wards. He said in his judgment: "To assert that 'the systems already in place to deal with the allegations of electoral fraud are clearly working' indicates a state not simply of complacency but of denial."

So "fast forward" once more to last week's local and provincial elections, and view how the responses of the Labour government have worked out. There have been multiple allegations of voter fraud, of "personation" which is stating you are someone else, and using that person's vote, of ballot rigging and of plain stupidity.

The Scottish parliamentary elections are facing some 100,000 votes declared "void" as the voting papers were too complicated to mark correctly, and the much-vaunted computers, which were supposed to speed the counts up, crashed about five minutes into the counting process. Ballots were also supposed to be placed into the sealed boxes unfolded, to make things easier for the counting, but instead revealed how everyone voted!

The voter's register in Birmingham City fell by almost 20,000 after strict fraud measures were imposed following the scandal of two years ago! Many European countries have better fraud protection measures in place, and Britain is regarded as very late to acknowledge the scale of voter fraud! So once again, the so-called "Mother of Parliaments" is suffering from self-inflicted wounds, and the governing Labour bunch, possibly being the benefactors of much of the vote-rigging, aren't doing much about it!

- Britain's Voter Fraud Problem by Mike Cunningham (read by Claire George) 

©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Mike Cunningham

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