Monday, June 26, 2006

The Most Bloated Quango in the Quangosphere

Regular readers will know that've had the odd pop at the Electoral Commission, one of the most bloated establishments in that growth industry of all growth industries, the quangosphere. So it was with a wry smile that I learned today that the Electoral Commission are focusing on the important things that matter to restore confidence in British’s electoral system - the creation of their own trade union! They held a ballot to decide what to do and managed a turnout of 74% of their 136 staff. Yes, you read that correctly, 136 staff. I suppose it's ironic that in the very organisation which is trying to increase electoral turnout 1 in 4 didn't vote, but maybe that was because the ballot was organised not by the Electoral Commission staff, but its management. And true to form, there is an internecine battle going on within the trade unions to see who should be the 'lead' union. THIS page from the PCSU website leaves us in no doubt what their view is. I do hope it will be part of Ken Clarke's Democracy Commission remit to re-examine the role and operation of the Electoral Commission.


Anoneumouse said...

Democracy commission you say. Oh yes, Ken Clarke, Maastricht and Social Chapter.

Try saying that all in one breath?

Anonymous said...

Personnally I think creating the Electoral Commission is one of the better things the government has done.

Previously there was no focus at all on the practice of democracy within the country. It was tucked away in various departments.

Historically this suited the Tories, because they rather liked the antiquated methods, because they had the manpower (although it was really woman power)

Electoral stuff is much much higher up the agenda. This is not really down to the government. Governments hate electoral stuff because they have just won, so are sceptical of change

We should be
Voting on Sunday
Voting places other than schools etc
Voting online
Voting proportionally

At the moment I consider a vote rather bad value in terms of the use of my time. I live in Cameron's seat, but having met
him would never vote for him. Why should I take 20-30 minutes to perform a pointless task, because he will get in anyway.

Until the recent advertisement for the PR job I have never seen a job at the EC that paid anywhere near enough for the responsibilities of the position. My greater concern is that on those salaries they will not get people of ability

Anonymous said...

The electoral commission isn't overly bloated. If they more staff they could crack down on Bob Neill's erroneous candidacy. for details (on which you have been surprisingly mute)



Jock Coats said...

Come on Iain, get some perspective. The entire staff of the EC could fit in one toilet at the Learning and Skills Council with its four and a half thousand staff.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Wheatley - the Electoral Commission has whistleblown on postal vote abuse etc.

Pols whingeing about the Commission sound like city types complaining that the FSA - a sure sign that both outfits are closing in on "traditional" abuse.

Louise said...

I've got nothing against there being a staff union at the Electoral Commission, but agree that it is one of the most pointless bodies in the country.

Which is a real shame as protecting our democracy is really quite important.

The first change to its structure needed is that is should be allowed to employ people who have recently worked for political parties and who have a real working knowledge of how electoral theory - such as electronic voting - has worked in practice.