Friday, May 22, 2009


I am; are you? I guess that there will be a larger than usual number of candidates willing to stand as 'independents' in any forthcoming General Election. Good luck to them. Lively and hard-working independents have added a lot to Parliament over the years and there are too few of them.

Martin Bell held a seat for a while after the Hamilton scandal in Tatton. People have speculated that Esther Rantzen may stand in Luton and HRH Joanna Lumley of Nepal might well get in anywhere, bless.

Trouble is, as we found in recent by-elections, and the ridiculous situation in Tony Blair's own constituency in the 2005 General Election, all that happens when a lot of people stand as independents is they all lose their deposits - the price of being able to make a well-publicised speech following their inevitable defeat. One, I recall, blamed Blair for the death of his son, another sang the latest loony mantra. Remember Monster Raving Loonies are not independent; they belong to a party.

Here's a thought. In the absence of single transferable votes why not have a pre-election ballot for independents so that one, and one alone, can contest? It might work.


Ali said...

transferable voting, that's what we have. AKA Proportional representation. It gets very complicated, especially as here we don't vote for who we want to get in, but tactically to keep those who we don't want to get in out. Were trained in that skill round about the same stage we are potty trained.

Believe me, there is NOTHING uncomplicated about Northern Ireland politics

Martin said...

Interesting Idea.