MEP replacement mechanism “charter for abuse”

According to the BBC report, the Northern Ireland Office is “pressing ahead with a system for replacing MEPs who fail to serve their full term.”

The new system would mean that, instead of a by-election, a party would choose a replacement for an MEP who resigned or died while in office. When consulted the Electoral Commission had suggested an alternative system.

It wanted a list system similar to other regions whereby voters should have the opportunity to view a list of possible substitutes before polling day. The commission made the suggestion as part of a consultation process – in which all but one political party broadly supported the government’s plan.

Apart from Jim Allister’s, in this case, not unreasonable complaint that it’s a “charter for abuse” by political parties, and despite what they might think the electoral mandate does not belong to the parties, but doesn’t it also assume that no independent MEP will ever be elected in Northern Ireland? That assumption might seem a reasonable conclusion, but it is not reasonable to create an electoral mechanism that relies on that assumption. Adds BBC NI political correspondent Martina Purdy notes, “Secretary of State Shaun Woodward declined to be interviewed on the issue.”

, , , , , ,

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    How odd that not one of the Big 3 party flacks who infest this place – really Alex, tooooo busy to pop along? – have even attempted to defend this disgrace.

  • Die Professionellen

    I think Jim Allister comments are deliberate mischief making. Any party that ran one candidate and then switched after the election would find itself badly discredited at any subsequent election.

  • Half Pint

    “Secretary of State Shaun Woodward declined to be interviewed on the issue.”

    I’m sure he did! Yet an other step along the road to dictatorship.

  • i think it’s fair enough to expect that if someone died or was unable to continue in office that the Party from which they were selected, promoted and elected, would be able to choose a successor – especially in the MEP context where only 3 candidates are elected.

    JA’s ..it’s a “charter for abuse” argument doesn’t really cut it

    I mean the person originally fielded has to get elected so the Party must be a favourite with the electorate – also if they die or become ill then the replacement must also be of a capable nature to undertake the role and ultimately get re-elected.

    it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other

  • Nomad

    Ah Northern Ireland. Where the pol’s hate democracy.

  • Nomad

    AWM- I mean the person originally fielded has to get elected so the Party must be a favourite with the electorate

    Probably a fair assumption that the party is popular. But we shouldn’t be shortcutting our way out of due process.

    It is a candidate who is elected, and not the party.

  • autocue

    Dictatorship?

    Half pint or half wit?

    Every time Allister spits the dummy on this issue all he does is conceed that the DUP candidate will stuff him at the polls. He’s running scared.

  • Guppy

    This is the Assembly’s system. MLA dies, party leader chooses their successor and even votes for the dead until successor in place.