By the time this blog goes out the election will be over. We might not have a new government but at least the endless avalanche of cr…leaflets through the door will cease. I shred them, mulch them and make bricks for the wood burning stove.
There is something intensely satisfying about putting the shiny face of a politician through the teeth of a shredder, slowly.
Douglas Alexander, The Shadow Foreign Secretary (or maybe not by now)
Our constituency has a leading Labour man as our long term Member of Parliament, a career politician. Standing against him is the SNP ( Scottish Nationalist) candidate. She is twenty, studying politics at Glasgow Uni. Twenty. I told the canvasser who came to the door that I couldn’t vote for anybody of that age. And that I had underwear older than her.
Nothing personal. Just an experience of life issue.
So on a lighter note I came across this article about what you cannot do in a polling station.
There's nothing illegal about taking a selfie, but the Electoral Commission very strongly disapproves. It’s all about the secrecy of the ballot. It is illegal to reveal how someone else has voted as might happen with a badly posed selfie. The ballot paper number might be visible and it could easily affect the integrity of the poll and that is a human right very much guarded by the law in this country. Any information obtained, incidentally by ‘selfie’ would be against the rules.
You can selfie outside the polling station as much as you want but there will now be signs up – no photography from this point onwards.
At the European elections there was a fine of £5,000 or six months in prison if a selfie revealed how someone else voted, even accidentally. But in practice they would simply ask you to delete the picture if it seemed innocent. Photographing someone else making their mark on the ballot paper is deemed as criminal intent.
Not in the polling station but outside you can tweet your little budgie brains out ….but only about how you voted. It is a criminal offence to say how anybody else voted ( without their permission) or to try and influence somebody else to change their vote if they are inside the station. It is also an offence to reveal a ballot number through social media
They are not allowed to vote but they can watch you vote as long as they are only in an accompanying capacity and not trying to influence you in any way. If you bring two or more dogs, or there are already other dogs in the station, or you have a dog like mine who would create an international incident, then a member of polling staff will hold the dogs outside while you vote. In outlying constituencies, horses and ponies can be tied up outside. Pot bellied pigs, ferrets, rabbits, tarantulas are not specifically mentioned but presumably the above rules apply.
A cute pony, just to balance this blog.
People shouldn't wear party political clothing, only candidates can do that. Fancy dress is allowed though. T shirts with political slogans are not allowed as it may intimidate other voters, but a political figure is ok … as long as they are far removed from the current campaign. So Che Guvara would be ok, as would Churchill the bulldog.
The joker might be more applicable to this election.
A spokesman said ‘The onus is on encouraging people to vote. But a line has to be drawn somewhere. Pyjamas are allowed. A topless man is okay. But a topless woman would be too distracting.’
I suppose that depends on the woman. Or the man.
Covering the face.
You can vote wearing a hoodie etc but you will be asked a few more formal question to ensure that one person does not vote twice using two identities.
A biggie in Scotland! Seemingly you cannot be refused your democratic vote just because you are bramered. If you are bramered and argumentative, you will be told to go away, sober up and come back when you can behave.
Want to sport a giant rosette?
Well you canny! Only candidates and their polling agents can wear a rosette. It must be plain and not refer to the candidate or bear a slogan and it should be "three to four inches" in width. I wonder what would happen if you ride your pony to the polling station after it has just one first place in cutest pony class.
Can you talk in the station.
Yes, but not about politics.
If I was to marry Prince Harry…
I could still vote. Technically the Queen can vote but chooses not to as it would ‘be considered unconstitutional not to remain politically neutral.’
Those who are medically insane and members of the House of Lords are not allowed to vote.
Politicians who are medically insane seem to get voted into positions of high power.
The not so magnificent seven...
You will be asked to remove headphones while being processed by polling station staff. You will be asked to leave if you have a loud mobile phone conversation or of your personal music can be heard by others.
Do you have to use the wee pencil on the string?
You can use a pen, or your own pencil. It is tradition to make a cross but you can tick if you wish. The crucial thing is that your intention is clear. Any other mark will be put aside at the vote and officials will make a judgement on it.
Seemingly people make a mistake and mark the wrong person ( if they are that easily confused, should they be voting at all!!). As long as the paper hasn’t been posted in the box then they can be given another paper to try again. The original ballot paper will be cancelled and the voter will be issued with a new paper.
You can take a friend with you into the polling station as long as they too are eligible to vote there. But they are not allowed to go into the booth with you. The disabled or blind are allowed to take in assistance.
Kids are allowed in as it is seen to aid good voting behaviour in the future. The same rules apply to children as apply to the dogs above. But the child is not allowed to mark the X on the paper. You are the voter- not the offspring.
You may write a message for your candidate on the paper but it means the vote will not count. In more polite times it was proper to write NONE OF THE ABOVE on the paper as that meant you did not consider any of them worthy of your vote. These votes are counted and termed ‘rejected votes.’
You can sign your ballot paper if you want but if the signature is recognisable, your vote will not count, I will have no problem there- my signature looks like a demented spider has walked through an ink pot.
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.... no... Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest....or
Shifty, Untrustworthy and Dodgy
Glakitt, Numpty and Bawheid...
Ok you get the picture....
Caro Ramsay 08/05/2015