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Local Election Campaigns Building Up

It is clear that the local election campaigns are building. There are rumours of Labour encouraging independent candidates to split the anti-Labour vote.

It is sad that the new legislation against vote fraud has not yet been fully implemented. The approach of signing for ballot papers gives a facility to pick up personation after the end of the election that has not previously been possible.

We are going to put a bit of additional effort in this year to monitor frauds. Hopefully the police will assist in this.


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Standards Board and Ken Livingstone

The link is to the case where Ken Livingstone appealed the decision of the Adjudication Panel for England. The Standards Board and associated Adjudication Panel have done a lot of damage to democracy in the UK. The courts are, however, bringing them into more sanity. The point about Ken Livingstone's case is that it was high profile and he also could afford to appeal. The Standard Board has a problem in that those subject to its enquiries face substantial costs that they cannot claim back. This is an issue that needs further work. In essence the Judge found that what he said brought him into disrepute, but not the office of Mayor. We do need the machinery of the SBE and APE to concentrate on things that matter rather than people being rude to each other.