Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fight, But Don't Expect To Vote

The reason the Blair government hasn’t paid a political price for its persecution of Brit soldiers in Iraq is they don't get to vote! Possibly a convenient oversight, but was likely a deliberate act since his government introduced a postal vote system that simplifies voter fraud by its supporters.

Prior to Blair’s government, men and women signing up with the Brit armed forces were automatically given postal voter status that remained valid until they were discharged. That made sense because they were liable to be posted abroad at a moment’s notice and would then be rather too busy for form filling. But then (my ellipsis):
Ministers introduced a new system in 2001, which required (members of the armed forces) to re-register every year or risk losing their vote.

However, 61 per cent of personnel - rising to 71 per cent among those serving overseas - said they were "unaware" that they had to re-register each year, according to the new survey carried out by the Defence Analytical Services Agency at the MoD.

When the Government was warned in the run-up to last year's election that thousands of troops would be disenfranchised, ministers responded by sending out 110,000 leaflets explaining how service personnel could register to vote.

However, the survey revealed that 64 per cent of personnel - or 73 per cent of those serving overseas -claimed that they never received the leaflet.

When asked why they were not registered, two out of five said it was because they had not received a registration form.
That may have been the Blair administration's fabled incompetence, but it proved very convenient:
As a result, only 46 per cent of servicemen and women - or just 28 per cent of those serving overseas - actually voted in the election that returned Tony Blair to power for a third time.
I'd hazard that not many Brit soldiers fighting in Iraq would have voted for Blair.

Meanwhile, his administration introduced a system of postal voting that led to widespread vote-rigging by its Muslim supporters and vetoed measures to reduce such fraud by requiring voters to show ID, because:
(Such) checks could deter people from registering to vote and reduce election turn-outs.
His government was happy to reduce this turn-out:
Col Tim Collins, the former officer who delivered a rousing address to his troops in Iraq, said: "It's the ultimate irony that the defenders of democracy - men and women who are prepared to give their life to defend democracy - are left in the dark by our government and unable to vote in the general election."