Sunday, 21 March 2010

Our Troops, Fighting for democracy - yet unable to vote?

Angry is not the bloody word! As an ex-serviceman I cannot believe for one minute that it is not possible for every single one of our service men and women to vote if they so wish. We could fly out postal vote forms to them tomorrow - they could be returned within a week. That this has not been seen as a priority is an absolute sodding disgrace.

From the Times online:
Electoral law stipulates that postal votes cannot be issued until the close of nominations 11 days before election date. They must be returned to constituencies by the close of polling to be valid.
So what? Gordon Brown can fly out to Afghanistan and back in no time when he needs to cynically use our troops as a photo op backdrop. 11 Days is more than enough time to get the electoral vote forms out to the troops and back to their respective constituencies. Andrew Murrison, a shadow defence minister, said:
“The blame for the collapse in the number of service personnel registered to vote can be put at the government’s door.

“It is bizarre and wrong that soldiers who have put their lives on the line for Afghan democracy are left without a vote in their own homeland.”

Another Conservative MP, who has a large garrison town in his constituency, said: “Labour has made it harder and harder for soldiers to vote. It may be incompetence, but it could be knavery.”
It becomes clear why Labour are not sorting the mess out when you look at the results of a recent poll carried out by the British Army Rumour Service website found that 57% would vote Tory, and only 7% would vote Labour.

If our Labour government have no intention of helping our Armed Forces vote, then the service heads need to get this sorted - and bloody quick.

10 comments:

The Boiling Frog said...

Sadly nothing new with this Labour Government:

Traditionally, personnel registered as a service voter when they signed up and remained on the register until they left the Armed Forces.

Ministers introduced a new system in 2001 which required them to re-register every year or risk losing their vote.

However, 61 per cent of personnel - rising to 71 per cent among those serving overseas - said they were "unaware" that they had to re-register each year, according to the new survey carried out by the Defence Analytical Services Agency at the MoD.

When the Government was warned in the run-up to last year's election that thousands of troops would be disenfranchised, ministers responded by sending out 110,000 leaflets explaining how service personnel could register to vote.

However, the survey revealed that 64 per cent of personnel - or 73 per cent of those serving overseas -claimed that they never received the leaflet.

When asked why they were not registered, two out of five said it was because they had not received a registration form.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1520389/Only-a-third-of-overseas-troops-could-have-voted.html

Sue said...

A quick and easy way to solve this would be for every service person to nominate a family member to vote on their behalf. In effect, a proxy vote before they leave the country to fight for other people's democracies when ours is in such dire straits with the EU.

Daily Referendum said...

TBF,

Why would Labour care when the troops will be voting against them? This is close to vote rigging.

Daily Referendum said...

Sue,

That's how I did it in the Navy. My Mother would vote for me when I was away. The government put an end to that by making them register to vote every year. It stinks.

subrosa said...

Ah I see you found the reason Steve.

Sue mentions proxy votes and the forces have them but they're a nightmare. What the serving person has to do is download the form from the specific council website, fill it in, scan it, email it to the address supplied, then post (yes post) it to the address so as the council can check the signature. Then and only then will the applicant and selected proxy be told that the application has passed.

Now if someone's trying hard to survive in a foreign land or may be well away from a printer and scanner, they don't stand a chance.

Labour don't want the armed forces to vote. Full stop.

Anonymous said...

Did you think this Nu-Labour government would want the services to have the vote? British socialism has always hated the services, especially the Territorials. It allows over representation of the Scots and Welsh who mostly vote socialist, fraudulent postal votes which allows tribal elders to block vote on behalf of Islamic voters, uncontrolled mass immigration of socialist voters, and extends large scale outsourcing of state jobs via the Guardian newspaper. No government has used and abused the services and shed it's blood like this ZaNuLabour government, but it certainly does not want it to have the vote.

Anonymous said...

A lot of service personal I have met want this country to get out of this illegal war. The government are afraid that they will vote BNP because the BNP are standing with that as their main policy.
Yes, vote rigging!

Norfolk Blogger said...

I seem to recall this issue being pushed first by the Lib Dems. Nice finally to have the Tories on board.

James Higham said...

Angry is not the bloody word! As an ex-serviceman I cannot believe for one minute that it is not possible for every single one of our service men and women to vote if they so wish. We could fly out postal vote forms to them tomorrow - they could be returned within a week. That this has not been seen as a priority is an absolute sodding disgrace.

Not one word to add to or subtract from this.

isle of man luxury villa said...

I do not know if a website opinion poll counts as a real opinion poll.
I would like to see who the army soldiers vote for though.