Author Topic: General election bits and bobs  (Read 896 times)

NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7241
General election bits and bobs
« on: May 15, 2017, 01:20:22 PM »
- The deadline to register to vote in person is 11:59pm on 22 May.

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

http://www.eoni.org.uk/Register-To-Vote/Register-to-vote-change-address-change-name





- In England, Scotland and Wales, the deadline to apply to vote by post at the UK general election on Thursday 8 June is 5pm on Tuesday 23 May.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-a-postal-vote





- In Northern Ireland the deadline for absent vote (postal/proxy) applications is 5pm on Thursday 18 May. In certain specific circumstances applications may also be made until 5pm on Wednesday 31 May.

http://www.eoni.org.uk/Vote/Voting-by-post-or-proxy






- More information on applying for a proxy vote or emergency proxy vote in England, Scotaland and Wales can be found here:

https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote/voting-by-proxy

NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7241
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 01:26:47 PM »
If you live in a marginal constituency, and would like to vote tactically, this site has information on which candidates are most likely to oust a Tory incumbent:

https://www.tactical2017.com/


For Twitter users, some interesting discussions are going on here:

https://twitter.com/hashtag/cripthevoteUK?src=hash

Content on the second link can be quite upsetting at times, so tread carefully.  >hugs<

lankou

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2654
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 05:19:31 PM »
Theresa May getting stick from disabled woman:-


NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7241
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 05:40:34 PM »
Well done that woman!  >thumbsup<

SteveX

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1162
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 08:10:05 PM »
Good on her!
Member of POMMAS

SteveX

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1162
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 08:18:53 PM »
Member of POMMAS

Monic1511

  • Moderator Welfare Rights
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1989
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 07:41:22 PM »
On huffington post yesterday they highlighted a part in the tory manifesto that said they wanted to introduce the need for photo id to be allowed to vote,  that will just make less people likely to vote and is in my view ID cards by a different back door
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/conservative-manifesto-pledge-demanding-voters-have-photo-id-could-stop-millions-from-voting_uk_591dbdc9e4b094cdba51f63b

NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7241
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 08:04:51 AM »
It depends on what type of ID is demanded. Having photographic ID to vote is compulsory here, but if you don't have a passport or drivers licence you can apply for a free electoral identity card, which means that people on low incomes aren't disenfranchised. The cards are valid for 10 years, and EONI runs registration and ID card clinics in community centres and church halls across NI before every election.

I wouldn't trust the Tories to introduce a similarly well thought out system across the water, and if they're demanding expensive forms of ID such as a passport, then the whole thing smacks of voter suppression.

In the past NI had a huge problem with voter fraud - hence the old joke "vote early, vote often". The figures for similar fraud in GB are tiny.


>Editing to add:

Steve - I think Monty Burns is a bit too cuddly to be Theresa May!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 08:10:51 AM by NeuralgicNeurotic »

NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7241
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 08:20:01 AM »
This is getting seriously worrying:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/theresa-may-internet-conservatives-government-a7744176.html

Quote
Theresa May to create new internet that would be controlled and regulated by government.


Theresa May is planning to introduce huge regulations on the way the internet works, allowing the government to decide what is said online.

Particular focus has been drawn to the end of the manifesto, which makes clear that the Tories want to introduce huge changes to the way the internet works.

"Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet," it states. "We disagree."

Senior Tories confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the phrasing indicates that the government intends to introduce huge restrictions on what people can post, share and publish online.

The manifesto makes reference to those increased powers, saying that the government will work even harder to ensure there is no "safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online". That is apparently a reference in part to its work to encourage technology companies to build backdoors into their encrypted messaging services – which gives the government the ability to read terrorists' messages, but also weakens the security of everyone else's messages, technology companies have warned.

NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7241
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 08:34:44 AM »
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 10:35:07 AM by NeuralgicNeurotic »

lankou

  • Charter Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2654
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2017, 08:43:15 AM »



NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7241
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2017, 07:55:59 AM »
This is an interesting article on (the lack of) representation for disabled people in parliament:


https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/24/few-disabled-candidates-parliament-mps?


Quote
Why are so few disabled candidates standing for parliament?



Parked up in a field, Mary Griffiths Clarke – the Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Arfon, in north Wales – is spending the general election campaign living in a caravan. Griffiths Clarke, 36, grew up 30 miles from here in Snowdonia and now lives in London.

Arfon is a Labour marginal target (Plaid Cymru currently holds the seat with a majority of 3,668) and Griffiths Clarke is clearly passionate about helping the area. “Whenever I go home, I see the high streets have become a ghost town. People are having to quit work because there’s no bus services now to get them there,” she says.

But as a disabled candidate, the cost – both financial and physical – of running for election is tough. Griffiths Clarke has ME, which is exacerbated by commuting from London, where she works as a director of a community law centre. Traditional methods of campaigning – such as door-to-door canvassing – can be exhausting, she says. She is also dyslexic, which means she needs support with the vast written communication for the campaign. Or as she puts it, “All the things I’d have [help with] as an MP but you don’t get as a candidate.”




Quote
The access to elected office fund (AEO) established by the coalition government in 2012 to help disabled people stand for elected office was designed to enable candidates to overcome the type of barriers facing Griffiths Clarke. Under the fund, disabled candidates were offered grants of between £250 and £40,000 to help with potential additional costs in standing for election as a local councillor or MP, such as extra transport or sign language interpreters. But only three years after being launched, it was quietly put on hold in England in 2015. In January 2016, the Green party’s Caroline Lucas led calls by MPs from across the political spectrum for the fund to be reinstated “as a matter of urgency” but there’s still nothing in place for disabled candidates despite a recommendation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for it to reopen.

The General Equalities Office, which reports to Justine Greening, the minister for women and equalities, and junior equalities minister, Caroline Dinenage, said it was unable to comment on the closure of the fund during the pre-election period of purdah but in 2015, the government said it was “evaluating the access to elected office fund pilot” – including the views of disabled applicants on its effectiveness – and looking to political parties themselves to help make further progress. “They’re best placed to drive opportunities for disabled people in political life,” it said.




Quote
Griffiths Clarke knows first hand how useful the fund was. When she stood in the 2015 general election for the Welsh seat of Dwyfor Meirionnydd, it helped pay for a personal assistant, as well as a hotel three nights a week. “I wouldn’t have been able to stand without it,” she says. This time round, with the fund closed, she has to rely on friends and charity to fill the gap. The caravan she’s staying in belongs to her agent. Volunteers help with paperwork, transport, and lifting and carrying.

“I’m fortunate that I have support and goodwill. But we shouldn’t have to be going backwards relying on charity,” she says. “The abolition of access to office has been disempowering. I know lots of disabled people who haven’t been able to run this time around.”

Emily Brothers, who is blind and hard of hearing, was widely reported in 2015 as Labour’s first trans parliamentary candidate when she stood for Sutton and Cheam in south London, but with no way to afford a sighted guide to help her on the campaign trail, she isn’t running again.




Quote
Brothers, 52, was able to use the AEO fund in the 2015 election to cover the cost of a guide. She says the fund was “invaluable”. and now that it’s closed the decision to stand for office is a “punt”: disabled candidates must calculate the chance of winning, not simply because they want to win but, because they need reassurance there will be an MP’s salary at the end to help pay off the disability-related debt built up through the campaign. She previously worked for the EHRC but her only income is now disability benefits. When she was turned down for her first choice of Andy Burnham’s old constituency in Leigh, though keen to apply for other seats with smaller majorities, such as Warrington, she felt she couldn’t take the risk.

“If I stand in an unwinnable seat, how will I cover my debts?” she says. “[The AEO fund] meant I could stand as a candidate on a fairly level playing field. It’s a different world now.”

Abolishing funding for disabled candidates is particularly worrying in light of parliament’s starkly low representation of disabled people. While around 16% of the working age adult population has a disability, they make up less than one percent of MPs. There are some signs of progress, with the Green party fielding Ben Fletcher, the first deafblind person ever to stand in a general election, in Greening’s constituency in Putney, south-west London. Fletcher says: “I have been able to stand for parliament thanks to the support of the Green party, who have shown themselves to be an inclusive, diverse and modern political party.”




Quote
But the overall picture is worsening. The retirement or defeat of several longstanding disabled MPs, such as Labour’s David Blunkett and Dame Anne Begg at the 2015 general election, saw the number of disabled MPs plunge to less than half a dozen, including Conservatives Paul Maynard and Robert Halfon. (There may of course be others who have not disclosed their disability.)

“Parliament would be better if it reflected the nation. That goes for ethnicity, gender and physical challenges. The question is, how do we get to that point?” says John Hayward, 46, the Conservative candidate for Cambridge City.

Hayward, who was born with one arm and no legs and uses artificial limbs, is a Cambridge University graduate who has spent his career in international development. He hopes to take the seat from Labour, and stresses he’s no different from any other candidate. “Everyone has challenges,” he explains.

Unlike many who rely on the access fund, Hayward doesn’t think it is necessary. “It’s a team so if a candidate has challenges, I’d look to them for support rather than financial support from the state”. He also believes the fund could be “open to abuse” from candidates or even be used to give them an advantage.

For Hayward, however, there can be physical barriers.“I remember helping in a parliamentary byelection [elsewhere] a few years ago in a seat where every street was on a hillside and every house had a flight of steps to reach the letterbox,” he says.




Quote
Back in Wales, while the campaign is in full swing the lack of state support is taking its toll on Griffiths Clarke’s health. She recently had a seizure while campaigning but with no medically trained personal assistant to help her, she didn’t feel able to disclose it to anyone afterwards. She believes that in addition to the fund being reinstated, individual parties should create tailored training for disabled candidates (as there are for other diversity strands). This would include training in public speaking and media; setting up, running and evaluating campaigns; and holding surgeries. An online portal could breakdown geographical barriers and offer people resources, toolkits and a safe online chat facility to engage with others for peer-to-peer learning, she suggests. Mentoring could give one-to-one advice to suit individual needs and help with confidence, she adds.

Nine percent of Liberal Democrat PPCs at this election are disabled. The party already provides advice, guidance and mentorship for all prospective candidates. Although there isn’t currently a pot of money for disabled candidates, a Lib Dem spokesman says: “We work closely with our fundraising team to ensure candidates’ barriers are overcome, particularly in more winnable seats”.




Quote
Labour agreed last summer to set up a bursary scheme for both disabled and working class candidates. However, the scheme is still in the early implementation phase. For this snap election, only 1.6% of Labour candidates are recorded as having a disability.

The Conservative party failed to provide information about what support, if any, it provides to disabled candidates and how many are standing for election.

Griffiths Clarke says: “Unless people have the skills, they won’t succeed in being selected as candidates or winning elections. At a time when disabled people are increasingly marginalised and have inhumane ideological policies thrust upon them, we need disabled voices more than ever.”

Monic1511

  • Moderator Welfare Rights
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1989

NeuralgicNeurotic

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7241
Re: General election bits and bobs
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2017, 07:55:23 AM »
This interesting article examines the ideological differences between the Tories and DUP, and highlights possible difficulties of a confidence and supply deal between the two parties.  [Article contains links and charts not reproduced below]:


https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/06/10/our-friends-in-the-north-the-dup-and-the-tories-arent-ideologically-close/



Quote
Our Friends in the North? The DUP and the Tories aren’t ideologically close



Following the shock result of Thursday’s General Election, the Prime Minister has announced her intention to form a government with the help with her “friends and allies in the DUP”. The DUP and the Conservatives are aligned in their commitment to Brexit and Northern Ireland’s place in the union, but they are far from ideological twins with regards to other issues.

Much has been made of the incompatibilities between the DUP’s hard-line stance on same sex marriage and the Conservatives, especially the party-within-a-party of Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives. However, on bread and butter tax-and-spend issues the two parties do not always see eye-to-eye. Neither the parliamentary party nor DUP voters share the Conservatives’ commitment to a smaller state, and on many issues they are closer to Labour than the Conservatives.

Back in 2015 I compiled analysis on the differences in ideological voting patterns between the various parties in Westminster. The following chart from then shows how MPs voted, with economically left and right on the x-axis, and social issues on the y-axis (socially left being below the x-axis, and socially right above the x-axis).




Quote
The DUP were essentially halfway between the two largest parties, tending to vote with Labour on fiscal matters but further to the right on social policy. Bear in mind that this was when the Liberal Democrats were in a coalition government, and therefore voted with the Tories more often than they do now.

More recently, the DUP have a consistent record of siding with Labour and not the Conservatives on tax-and-spend issues. I looked at data from The Public Whip to look at how the DUP and the Conservatives voted in Parliament since the 2015 General Election. There were 467 divisions in the House of Commons in the last Parliament. Of these, the DUP with the government voted on 206 occasions, and against the Tories 77 times (only considering votes where at least half of both the Conservatives and the DUP voted), meaning that the DUP voted with the Conservatives 73% of the time. There were 184 votes in which either or both of half the respective parliamentary parties did not vote.




Quote
The DUP certainly have a track record of voting with the Tories more often than the similarly-sized post-2015 Liberal Democrat contingent, who only voted with the government on 7% of the occasions where at least of half both parliamentary parties voted. DUP MPs will presumably have to show up on more occasions in the next parliament; DUP MPs only voted 53% of the time since the 2015 election, compared to the Conservatives who voted on 83% of occasions.

However, on opposition days, where subjects chosen by the opposition are debated, the DUP voted against the government on 14 of the 20 occasions (70%) where the majority of both blocs of MPs voted. Examples of votes where the DUP and the Tories opposed each other were on calls for state support for the steel industry, to stop the scrapping of maintenance grants for low income students, and a debate on the tax deal reached between Google and HMRC.

When the opposition get to decide the topic between debated, the DUP’s voting record is generally left-leaning and aligned with the Labour party. The rate at which the DUP have backed the Conservatives is somewhat bolstered by the sheer number of Brexit-related votes in the last parliament, with 45 out of the 467 divisions in the last parliament related to the topic.




Quote
Aside from the parliamentary party, DUP voters are also left-leaning on bread-and-butter taxation and spending issues. I looked at data from the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey (NILT), a survey that has been running from 1998 and monitors the opinions of Northern Ireland residents on politics and other matters.

In the NILT survey from 2014, 34% of people who identified as DUP voters said that “Improving the health service” was the most important issue facing Northern Ireland, only two points fewer than the 36% of voters of the left-leaning SDLP.

In the most recent NILT survey, respondents were asked if it was fair that people should have to sell their home to pay for their care. Only 19% of DUP voters agreed that this fair, one point fewer than the Liberal Democrat aligned Alliance Party. When asked if it was fair that care should be universally free and funded by an increase in taxation, the majority (61%) of DUP voters agreed that it was fair. This was only seven percentage points fewer than the percentage of Sinn Féin voters (68%) who thought the same.

DUP voters, whilst very much in favour of Brexit and (obviously) Northern Ireland’s place in the UK, are in favour of better public services and not necessarily opposed to tax rises to pay for them, and the voting behaviour of the DUP in parliament broadly reflects this.




Quote
Ultimately, the DUP are economic populists and parochial in outlook, and the wishlist they present to the Conservatives is likely to be dominated for requests for more UK government funds for Northern Ireland, although a UK-wide repeal of the bedroom tax was one of the demands they presented in 2015. Northern Ireland is already the area of the UK that receives the most public expenditure on a per capita basis.

There are significant political risks for both sides. It is likely to be politically toxic for the Tories if the gap in spending between Northern Ireland and Great Britain grows even wider, as it will be seen as enforcing austerity in Great Britain to pay for a political bribe to the DUP.

For the DUP, there are risks locally if they are part of a government that imposes unpopular cuts locally, especially if there is no return of the mothballed Northern Ireland Assembly and direct rule makes a comeback. The standard playbook of asking for more money from the government in London won’t work if they are the government in London.




Quote
Of course, it is difficult to see who might mount a credible challenge to the DUP from the left amongst unionist voters, considering that the UUP had an alliance with the Tories as recently as 2010. But we will be in uncharted waters if the DUP joins the British government, so it is difficult to foresee what might happen.

Whilst much has been made of the differences between the DUP and the Conservatives on social issues, on taxation and spending issues there are also significant issues between the two sides and it is difficult to predict how they will find common ground to form a government. The Tories may not be as close to “our friends in the north” as they might think, and it is difficult to see how a coalition between the DUP and the Conservatives will be anything other than weak and unstable.