Monday 25 April 2011: Postal Vote
As everyone knows, of course, there is an election coming up.
While blipfoto is decidedly not a place to discuss political preferences, although I have noted that at least one Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary maintains an account and seems to post quite regularly during election periods, I think it is fair to say that this is a very interesting election, the outcomes of which will tell us a lot about how Scotland is reacting to a combination of factors: the removal of Labour from office in 2010, combined with the new ConDem coalition Government, and the completion of a term of office by the SNP minority government, now faced with a decidedly cold economic climate affecting its (spending) room for manoeuvre. It will also be very interesting to see how Scotland votes on the AV referendum, and whether its preferences (and experience with various alternatives to first past the post) impact upon the wider UK result. However, Scotland's population is now so small in comparison to the whole UK (it used to be one in ten, and is now more like one in twelve) even the anticipated higher turnout in Scotland than in England seems unlikely to change that much.
Well, we will see, on Friday May 6.
As postal voting - well I went over to postal voting about ten years ago, and I haven't visited a polling station since we moved to Scotland in 2005. It's a shame really. I miss the more dramatic sense of democratic participation you get when you actually post your vote in a box. But realistically speaking, I would probably never manage to vote if I had to do that. This time, for example, although in Edinburgh in the first part of the day, I will be taking a train to Liverpool in the afternoon, and would be severely compromised from going to the polling station. This way, for sure, I know my vote will be counted.
However, having recently filled in the census online, this led me to contemplate how long it will be before we have a sufficiently secure and fraud-proof system in place to allow online voting in elections.