Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Legitimate Votes...

An email has just dropped into my inbox which makes some interesting comparisons and which I have used as the basis for this blogpost:

Both Alec Robertson and George Eustice have appeared on Radio Cornwall and argued that Cllr Robertson and his Cabinet were justified in refusing to accept the legitimacy of the vote on privatisation because an unusually small number of councillors were present at the full council meeting on September 4th 2012 and this somehow invalidated the result of the vote.

73% of councillors attended the debate and voted or chose to abstain and the motion was passed by a majority of those who voted and 38% of the overall council.

When Cllr Robertson was elected to the new unitary Authority in 2009, he won 42% of the vote, but only 34.5% of his electorate voted. So Cllr Robertson owes his place on the council to securing the support of just 14.3% of the electorate.

When Mr Eustice was elected to Parliament to represent Camborne, Redruth and Hayle on 2010, he won 37.6% of the vote, but only 66.4% of the electorate voted. So Mr Eustice owes his place in Parliament to securing the support of just under 25% of the electorate.

When the Local Government Act secured its second reading in the House of Commons in began the process of forcing councils to use the Leader and Cabinet model. By an extraordinary coincidence, just 73% of MPs voted in that second reading vote.

Democracy isn’t perfect. The position of Cllr Robertson, Mr Eustice or any other elected politician is not invalidated by the turnout in their election or the proportion of the overall vote that they won. But, in turn, they have no right to question the outcome of a vote in council on the basis that some councillors were not present. 


1 comment:

Mark Thompson said...

Eustice's comments here are ridiculous. By that same logic, the No2AV campaign of which he was a pivotal part didn't win either last year as they only got 67.9% on a turnout of 42.2% or 28.6% of available voters.