Option of anonymous voter registration gets green light

The British government has signalled it will support the right of some electors to anonymously register to vote, indicating that the criteria will be drawn up in the short term. Whilst the Minister (David Hanson) intimated that this option would be limited to individuals whose safety is deemed at risk, the evidence from the last local election would indicate that making anonymous the names of election candidates’ nominees would be consistent with the stated aim of protecting individuals seeking to be involved in the democratic process from potential attack.In the aftermath of the election of Billy Leonard as the first Sinn Fein councillor in Coleraine last year, the names of electors (and their relatives) who signed the party candidates’ Nomination forms for Coleraine Council were posted on walls around the town in a clear act of intimidation by loyalists. Some of the individuals mentioned were later personally threatened, assaulted and/ or had their homes attacked. With this in mind, it would make sense for the British government and Electoral Office to introduce new arrangements which will prevent this from re-occuring in the future.

  • Pete Baker

    Let’s see..

    We already have anonymous donors to political parties.

    We’re going to have anonymous voters.

    Now Chris is calling for anonymous nominations of candidates.

    Next step, the logic would suggest.. is anonymous candidates.

    So much for transparency in the democratic process..

  • Michael Shilliday

    Have to agree Pete, although the anonymous donations does have a reasonable rationale to it

  • slug

    Anonymity is inimical to accountability.

  • I agree with Messers Baker & Shilliday , we need an amber ( orange ) light on this, its too soon for a green one.

  • elvis parker

    How bizarre! All our present politicians lived through ‘The Troubles’ and now – when they have (more or less) ended and one of the main protagonists has (apparently) handed over alot of their weapons the politicos and their supporters want to hide!
    Complete nonsense. Methinks some of them are actually becoming more arrogant and precious!

  • License Dodger

    I welcome this move, it might encourage TV license dodgers to register and vote again, they are a section of our society that has gone without a vote for 2 long.

  • Crataegus

    I’m utterly fed up with the misuse of the electoral role.
    Visit b4usearch.com and see if your details are there; just to take one example.

  • The Present Occupier

    Crataegus

    Interesting Link, sure enough they’ve got me at my old address. I left there in February 2005, I’ll keep schtum at this new gaff till I see what the “criteria” is.

    “Can’t Pay Won’t Pay”

  • aquifer

    Given the fairly broad definition of ‘political’ here, including violence and intimidation, people who nominate candidates should be allowed anonymity. The provision for nomination discriminates against ethnic minorities who are often under attack for being simply that. Best let anyone who wants stand and let the voters decide if they are fit or not.

  • Pete Baker

    If I may paraphrase, aquifer, the argument that ‘we’re a special case requiring less transparency’ actually takes us further away from democracy.. not closer to it.