Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Boycott the election and council tax - your non-vote

Don't forget to boycott the election. Show our politicians how they've failed us. The hung parliament means the election will be rerun in 6 months anyway.

Good to see the Gasworks being cleaned so as not to poison the public, also Dreamland with a CPO (the cry for TDC has to be "Get on with it!"): 3 years derelict and destroying the area - and successful launch of the Turner with "massive public policy failure".

I'm very concerned at the noise and pollution and cost and value of the Port which seems far better suited to the "Landings" tourism project and foot ferry than an HGV truckstop for lorry drivers to crap in a bag and throw on the beach and park on the verges again.

A horrific meeting last night at RTC's annual meeting which I'll write more later as it does seem to have turned in on itself.

But a very interesting email and reply below on why Thanet's and UK democracy is rather flawed as the main parties collapse and mess with gimmicks such as postal votes or weekend voting - as turnout plummets.

Because we think they're rubbish.

Nothing on right to jury trial.

Nothing on pegging bank interest or banker bonuses.

Nothing on redeploying UK troops from Germany.

Nothing on a Tobin Tax and Tobin Fund for the UN Millennium Goals.

And Thanet policies?


Not even picking up litter or dog dirt.

Not even a derelict building policy for the Van Gogh Gallery even silence on the Pav.

Not a toilet or Albion house decorated.

Not a Film office or Studio and Creative Industry policy.

Not even repairing Broken Benches - never mind Broken Britain.

Politicians and civil servants simply indulging in tax and waste and bumf and bloat.

Big Society? Big Nothing. Direct rule as at Doncaster Council and toxic waste compensation as at Corby Council seems the only option.

Infratil and Thor and Richboro continue to pollute - and party and civil service careers mean your politicians and civil servants will always opt for cover up, lies and whitewash.

That's why Thanet is one of Britain's worst governed areas. The public want good governance. The funds are there. Simply sprayed up the wall.

Certainly with the national parties so close together (2 percentage points) these variances in voting below will have an effect - very bizarre that candidates aren't included from a cutoff date.

You couldn't make it up could you?

Boycott the election and insist on stop the pollution, stop the corruption, stop the construction.

But read for yourself:

Subject: General Election Postal Vote Puzzle...
Date: Tuesday, 27 April, 2010, 23:23


Are you standing as a candidate in Thanet South?

Your name does NOT appear on the postal ballot paper sent to me by Thanet District Council. I have been offered the opportunity to vote for Ladyman, Sandys, Bucklitsch or Shonk.

I mentioned this to a friend who also has a postal vote. He claimed that his Thanet South postal ballot paper had only THREE names on it: Ladyman, Sandys and Shonk!



Hi Anthony

I'm not but I only announced this last Monday the day before the registration cutoff date - when was your postal vote received/issued?

Bucklitsch was a fairly late addition so it looks like postal votes were produced/issued before the candidates were announced?!

Maybe the same problem in Thanet North as a few candidates changed around there too.

I hope you don't mind but I've copied Richard Samuel as Returning Officer - who did alert me to deadlines etc and has tightened up procedures for local elections - and this does seem a flaw in the wider system - mainly "sprung" elections rather than fixed term parliaments as in USA - which will change in future elections.

250 years of UK democracy to arrive at the US system - but not quite as good.

You can turn up to the polling station on the day, but obviously it affects the postal vote (10% of the ballot?) significantly - the main parties focus on the elderly/housebound who are a bit more politically active/established - hence introducing postal votes - so it will distort the figures.

There is no online voting etc which seems strange in this day and age and a wider opportunity for TDC as it improves.

Rather feeble too that party manifestos are issued only 2 weeks before an election.

Sadly the UK electoral system is rather shoddy - hence low turnouts (c.30% for local elections and c.60% for national(!)), low party membership (1% of population), almost total reliance on union/big business lobby funding - and running deficits(!), party whips ensuring hand raisers and seat warmers for parliament etc etc.

In many ways taking the politicians out of politics is the way forward.

A big concern though is the gerrymandering of the electoral districts: Margate cut in half - there's no credible explanation for this as the census doesn't record major population changes it looks to be the civil service trying to "fix" the regeneration of Cliftonville (and "balance" Labour and Tory) by shifting it to a Labour area and shifting Thanet North into rural Tory areas.

Understandable - but rigging the two-horse system.

Requiring £500 and signatories for a national election (but not local) is also an undemocratic way to reduce the ballot - I'd suggest only signatories.

My recommendation as detailed on my blog is to "boycott the election" while,insisting on the "stop the pollution" at Manston, Richboro, Thor policies etc and wait for the 2nd election as the hung parliament collapses.

Shocking that the public have to stand for MP on basic issues of good governance like not polluting your own citizens.

Spoiled ballots aren't always recorded although that would be useful as it is a "none of the above" vote to an extent.

Pointless standing twice on the same issues in less than a year.

I'll mention these on my blog as it's an interesting area I'd not considered.

I'm also raising the issue of Ramsgate Town Council - I was one of 3(!) members of the public last night for the annual meeting with only half the council itself(!) which was appalling and indicates stagnation - and establishing Margate Town Council and looking for councillors, voters and volunteers to effect change: too much of the £60M District budget has been wasted given each town has contributed c.£17M in council tax.

Many thanks for raising this.

Kindest regards


Tim Garbutt
Tel: 07836 275 546

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