Friday, 6 February 2009

If I were Lindsay Roy

I'd be furious about the missing marked up register from Glenrothes. I'd march into Jim Murphy's office and say "listen, pal, you're responsible for the conduct of parliamentary elections in Scotland, so this mess is your fault, get it sorted." Then I'd steal his Tunnocks Teacake (probably a registered trademark).

Right, so the running of Parliamentary elections in Scotland is reserved to Westminster (even the Scottish Parliament elections, bizarrely), and Jim Murphy's ample neck is on the chopping block, what can he do? Well, he could always have the corresponding number list checked. Oho, whassat? Exactly the question I asked m'learned friend when he expounded upon the possibility. I've been involved in elections for many's the year and I've spent all my money on leaflets and gear, but I'd never heard of the corresponding number list.

Turns out it was the replacement for stamping and counterfoils - the number of the ballot paper is preprinted on the list and the electoral number of the elector receiving that ballot paper is written beside it. Kaching! There's another version of the Marked-Up Register - and it will be kept with the used ballot papers - it's sealed like the ballot paper account. So there we go, simply open the envelope, copy the list of electoral numbers and release that as a Marked-Up Register, keeping the ballot paper numbers secret. What could be easier.

Wee problem - you'd need the court to order it opened and the court will only do that if there is an election petition under consideration or as part of an investigation into electoral irregularities. Foiled! Except ...

The House of Commons has a residual power, left over from the days before courts handled election petitions (they were handled by Parliament - obviously because there's unlikely to be any vested interests there ... ), to order that election documents be opened and scrutinised. shrieval scrutiny of the Corresponding Number List could be ordered by the House of Commons.

Time to storm back into Jim Murphy's office and say "listen, pal, you're responsible for the conduct of parliamentary elections in Scotland, so this mess is your fault, get it sorted, and here's how - have the Commons order the opening of the Corresponding Number Lists for shrieval scrutiny, get the court to copy those lists and have them published as a Marked-Up Register."

I can't understand why Lindsay Roy is hanging about on this one, he should be desperate to clear up any confusion over his election.

Mind how you go!


brownlie said...

Can't understand why Lindsay Roy is hanging about? Neither can a lot of people but perhaps he's been told, I can't imagine where from, not to blow waves and it will go away. After all, his gaffe about school funding did'nt do him any harm thanks to the thousands of voters in Glenrothes who take their holidays in November. No wonder Glenrothes was described as a ghost town - there could not have been many left!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a conspiracy theorist myself, but I have to say this story did seem to have more than a ring of truth to it:

Calum Cashley said...

The Spoof - never seen it before, appears to be in the spirit of the Daily Mash and the Onion but with a slightly harder edge.