Friday, February 23, 2007

Sir Patrick Saved for the Nation

Sir Patrick Cormack has been handed a reprieve. Details HERE. Quite right too. Let's hope his constituency association see sense if it comes to another vote. Whatever his faults he does not deserve deselection and it's a row the whole Party can do without.

12 comments:

Unity said...

Iain:

You might want to suggest that your Central Office puts someone in to handle the media on the constituency association's behalf when the re-run happens.

Miscounting the ballots is a clerical error.

Making a mistake over a spoiled ballot paper or two is clerical error.

Winding up with more votes cast that you have members in attendance and eligible to vote is NOT a clerical error, not even in the same dictionary that calls bombing a children's hospital by mistake 'collateral damage'.

Whatever has really happened, what the story reads like, as its reported, is good old fashioned ballot stuffing, in which case the usual course of action would be to suspend the Association while an investigation takes place into the precise circumstances in which this all happened.

And if it ain't ballot stuffing, then you seriously do need to put some proper media people on it.

Anonymous said...

"Don't mess with Iain Dale, 'cause Iain Dale don't mess !"

Matt Davis said...

This does beg the question where the hell were the Area Officers in all this? They should have been there supervising this ballot and that includes checking the eligibility of those present and only issuing ballot papers to valid members actually in attendance.

Mostly Ordinary said...

It's a bit embarrassing that a constituency can't work out that a room of less than thirty people have cast more votes than people present.

I've got an abacus I can lend them.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Whoever the Association officers might be they should be disbarred. This is a) outrageous, and b) very damaging.

It should have been immediately obvious to all that something was seriously wrong if, as is reported, the number of votes exceeded the numbers of voters (about 30 or so?). The vote should have been declared void and an inquiry held into the circumstances.

The whole affair smells - of ageism particularly.

David Anthony said...

The cases of Peter Law and Joe Lieberman show that this was a clear mistake by the local party and could have cost the Tories a majority in a hung parliament.

It's fortunate that they found this 'discrepency' right...

davidanthonyrepublic.blogspot.com

mark williams said...

More likely some people attending the meeting didn't sign the attendance sheet, so quite possibly a clerical error.

judith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unity said...

Sorry, Mark, but no.

'Whoops, a couple of people forgot to sign in' is not, on its own, grounds for a re-run of the ballot - there also has to be some suggestion that whatever discrepancies have arisen, these indicate that something is awry with the ballot itself, like ballot stuffing or votes cast by non-members, etc.

That said, it should be a matter of basic competence that no one is issued with a ballot paper if they have not signed in and not provided evidence of current membership.

I'm not au fait with the Tory rulebook, but I would have thought that in order to vote, members must not only hold a valid membership card but their subs should be fully paid up to date as well.

Bob Piper said...

It was always going to be the case. The Westminster village (from all parties, let me say) look after their own and don't give a stuff what local party activists think. No doubt they will all adjourn to some Westminster wine bar and laugh themselves silly at the attempt by Party members to get rid of a member of the old boys club.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the voting irregularities in South Staffordshire are being put down to clerical error, Central Office had officials at the original meeting, so surely they should have stopped that? Smells to me like Central Office tried to rig a vote, and then realised that they may have bitten off more than they could chew!

Anonymous said...

The South Staffordshire misinformation continues, I found this quote in the local paper "Chairman of the South Staffordshire Conservative Association Councillor David Billson said: “There was a minor clerical error, which was noticed by our secretary, and she quite rightly referred the matter for guidance to our regional office, who then referred it to our central office.

“As chairman, I declared the ballot null and void".

All untrue, it was people who supported Sir Patrick, who attended the meeting and who felt something illegal was going on who contacted Central Office, and Central Office wrote to the good councillor telling him he had to declare the ballot null and void. It is also good to know that the Conservative Party (or at least some of its officers) believe that Ballot Rigging is a "Minor Clerical Error"