Monday, 22 February 2010

Electoral Commission - no concerns over wording

There is a tale being reported by the BBC and by the Scotsman as well as the Herald that centres around claims by opposition parties that the Scottish Government is seeking to rig the independence referendum. This is based on a release of correspondence under FOI which, it is claimed, demonstrates that the Electoral Commission is being cut out of the referendum and alleging that the EC had concerns over the wording.

The truth is somewhat different. The BBC is hosting the FOI in all its glory - 30 pages worth - and a quick read shows something rather different. The Electoral Commission raised a question about whether the Scottish Government or Scottish Parliament had the power to instruct the Commission and, by implication, whether the Commission could have a regulatory role. Both the Scottish Government and the Electoral Commission were to seek legal advice on whether there was a means by which these points could be addressed. The Commission also noted that the Scottish Government was asking the Commission's advice on the question and that the Government was committed to adhering to the ballot paper standards which were being developed.

Far from being unhappy with the Scottish Government, the Electoral Commission appears to be rather pleased with the level of cooperation. Interestingly, none of the reports quotes anyone from the EC - I would have thought that that was an obvious quote to seek. Another thing - these opposition parties complaining that the Scottish Parliament is to choose the Commissioner to oversee a Scottish referendum seem to have forgotten that their Calman Commission recommended that the Scottish Parliament takes over the overseeing of Scottish elections.


Mind how you go!

1 comment:

CrazyDaisy said...


light shineth from yonder window. Research is a word forgotten by Labour glad to see the EC is onside, but I much prefer if Scotland has control of it's own elections.

Do you think we'll ever achieve that? Even under Devo max?