A British expat who took a test case to the European Court of Human Rights to try to secure the right to vote in UK general elections has lost the case. Harry Shindler, 93, has lived in Italy since he retired from the army in 1982 argued that he should be allowed to vote in UK elections as he still has strong ties to the country. Currently anyone who has lived abroad for more than 15 years cannot vote in a general election in the UK but Shindler claimed that this breached his human rights. However, the court rules that it is entirely appropriate for the UK to have such conditions and said that there should always be ‘room for manoeuvre’ over eligibility for voting rights. It is an issue that is estimated to affect around a million British expats. The rules mean that expats can vote only in for general elections for a certain time but they can vote if they move back to the UK.
Articles about voting issues in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
It may seem like a drop in the ocean considering the vast amount of waste in Britain’s public sector, but the Electoral Commission, tasked primarly with regulating political parties and their financing, has revealed that it has spent almost £55,000 on a new website encouraging people to register to vote. The initiative, known as ItsYourVote.org.uk went live earlier this year and uses some bizarre methods to seek to convince people to register to vote. The site asks you for your postcode, upon which a selection screen launches, asking you to choose between an ice cream scoop, a cat and a fairground game. Once you’ve chosen, disaster is brought forth upon your neighbourhood, as the ice cream scoop digs you away, the cat burns you to cinders or the winch from a fairground game lifts you into the air.
Sex, lies and scandal — not the usual ingredients of a parliamentary special election in Britain. But Thursday’s contest for the southern English constituency of Eastleigh has been overshadowed by the torrid trials of the centrist Liberal Democrats, including the criminal conviction of a former Cabinet minister and allegations of sexual harassment against a senior party official. The election was called to fill the seat vacated by ex-Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, who resigned earlier this month after admitting that, a decade ago, he had asked his wife to take a speeding ticket for him, even though he had been driving. He faces a possible jail term for perverting justice, and his high-flying political career is in ruins. The Liberal Democrats’ efforts to hang onto the seat have been hampered by accusations that former chief executive Chris Rennard inappropriately touched and propositioned several women in incidents dating back a decade.
Scotland’s referendum will be held on September 18 next year, First Minister Alex Salmond announced in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday, March 21. The date is contained in the Scottish Independence Referendum Bill, introduced to the Parliament and published today, which also confirms that voters will be asked the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”.
United Kingdom: Scottish Government ‘happy’ to accept Electoral Commission’s independence referendum question | The Courier
The Scottish Government has agreed to change the question it will put to voters in next year’s independence referendum, after concerns were raised its preferred version could be biased towards a yes vote. First Minister Alex Salmond had proposed to ask: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” However, the independent elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, said using the phrase “Do you agree” was commonly felt “to be biased towards a yes outcome and potentially leading people towards a yes vote”. The Scottish Government has accepted the commission’s recommendation that the question should instead be: “Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No.”
United Kingdom: Independence Referendum: Electoral Commission call on David Cameron to show what a No vote would mean for Scotland | Daily Record
Election watchdogs have rocked the referendum debate by demanding David Cameron spell out what voting No would mean for Scotland. The Electoral Commission threw down the gauntlet yesterday to the Prime Minister on more powers for Holyrood. In their recommendations for how the historic vote should be run, they urged both the UK and Scottish Governments to outline their plans for the aftermath of the referendum. As revealed by the Record earlier this week, the experts rejected Alex Salmond’s preferred question for the crunch ballot. They said his wording – “Do you agree Scotland should be an independent country?” – would unfairly encourage people to vote Yes. Instead, they suggested a more neutral wording – “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
The independence referendum question that Scotland will face at the polls in 2014 has been chosen. On Wednesday, the Electoral Commission published its advice on the referendum question proposed by the government, which is: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country? Yes/No”. The electoral watchdog rejected the Scottish Government’s proposed independence referendum question recommending that “more neutral wording” is needed. The watchdog found that the clause “Do you agree” was not suitable for the referendum question as it “potentially encouraged people to vote ‘yes’ and should be replaced by more neutral wording”. It recommended that the question should be altered to: “Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No”.
The election watchdog is delivering its finding on the Scottish government’s independence referendum question. The Electoral Commission has spent the last few months assessing the SNP government’s preferred wording on the ballot paper in autumn 2014. It wants to ask voters the yes/no question: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” Final approval of the referendum arrangements rests with the Scottish Parliament. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond previously described his government’s question as “short, straightforward and clear”, but critics say the wording is biased. There has been speculation the Electoral Commission may reword the ballot paper, inviting voters to record “I agree” or “I disagree” to a general statement about independence.
In March, elections to the City of London Corporation take place. They could be used to challenge the unaccountable power wielded by this state-within-a-state. On the 21st March the City of London Corporation will hold elections for its ‘Common Council’, the democratic component in its ancient system of local government. To understand why elections to this small, historic local authority matter it is necessary to appreciate the role that the Corporation plays in the life of the United Kingdom. For, as understanding of the importance of the Corporation grows, so does the case for using the 2013 elections to campaign for its reform.
An independent watchdog body has expressed concern about the accuracy and completeness of the register used for elections in Northern Ireland. After carrying out a random check of 1,500 addresses, the Electoral Commission said as many as one in five entries are inaccurate. It also said up to 400,000 people are not registered at the correct address. The elections watchdog body is recommending urgent action is taken.