Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Tory tactics on voter registration are eroding democracy

Firstly, please register to vote here if you haven't done so. It's as important as it's ever been:

In 2009 the tories changed the way voters are registered so it is up to the individual rather than the head of a household. It was done under the pretence of stopping electoral fraud despite hardly any cases of this. This means that millions will drop off the register. Millions who wouldn't vote tory.

Electoral Reform Society campaign

For such an important democratic change there has been no TV campaign. A recent pension campaign saw Iain Duncan Smith spend £8.5 million of tax-payers money advertising it. 

As a student I was not informed enough to know about the voting process - a complete failure of the school system in a supposedly proud democracy. Being only just past 18 I had never voted before. Luckily universities would register students on mass. Under these rules there is a huge risk that many will be too busy to remember while studying, worrying about finances and generally being students. Those who move house or don't have mortgages with the insecurity of private rented accommodation are also at massive risk. The trend is that it's poorer people who are disproportionately affected. Facts reveal the tories' ulterior motive to gerrymander elections

Voters must be registered by December 1st 2015. The original date for registration was December 2016 but opportunistic self-serving tories rushed the date forward in the summer to deny a voice to those they care little about. Even the independent Electoral Commission has attacked these government manoeuvrings.

The conservatives want to rig their chances at elections next year by introducing the new system when there was no great call for it. This means registered voters will have to re-register if they want to choose the new London Mayor and Scottish & Welsh parliament next year. Why the haste? Of potentially even greater concern are boundary changes, rejected under the coalition (missing the Lib Dems yet?) but since a tory majority they are to become law in 2018 for the following election. These will be based on the electoral register of next month and therefore favour Cameron & co. if non-tories have dropped off the list. These changes are to make each constituency equal size yet shockingly they disregard non-registered voters.

Now to counter blatant tory manipulation the race is on register as many as possible before the coming in a matter of weeks. Labour are leading the charge here. With our antiquated broken voting system it is more important than ever to get involved in the democratic process while vested interests try and engineer a monopoly of power.

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