Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Rent-a-quote speaks out again
Meanwhile, Mr Hain has also been vociferous about the decision of the Electoral Commission not to allow an all-Wales postal ballot on June 10 for elections to County and Community Councils and the European Parliament. The Commission have argued, quite rightly in my view, that the complexity of holding three elections on one day made the use of an all-postal ballot unsafe and increased the chances of abuse. This is not enough for Mr. Hain, who has launched an attack on Welsh local authorities, accusing them of "letting down" the Country by arguing against all-postal ballots next year. There were some who believed that the pressure to have postal voting was designed to maximise the Labour vote next June so as to get more Labour MEPs elected. Such a motive is hardly a noble experiment in the extension of political rights. Clearly, Mr. Hain does not like losing an argument, still less having a Government Quango defy his settled will. It seems that the "strong recommendation of Rhodri Morgan and myself" is reason enough for such a change despite the risks. These are quite extraordinary comments from a democrat and a Government Minister. They show a breathtaking lack of understanding of the electoral process. Elections are not there to elect the Labour Party Peter, they are there so that people can make unhindered choices in a fair and impartial process, based on their judgement of the policies that they are presented with. Still, at least he sent me a Christmas card this year. Don't suppose I will get one again once he reads this.