Archive: Integrity

Posted on 2nd April, 2020

When people leave their polling stations next Thursday, they will want to feel that on the really important matters they voted with integrity. Two issues are highly relevant.

 

The first is honesty. People wanting to vote Conservative are faced with a dilemma because of the party leader's reputation in this country and around the world as a liar and someone who cannot be trusted. They may well ask themselves if it is really in the country's best interests to be led by such a person. Are their votes being used to underwrite dishonesty?

 

Secondly, this election is about Brexit and there are those who see voting for a Leave party as defending democracy in the light of the referendum result. Such thinking is invalid because the conduct of the referendum rendered it undemocratic.

 

Both the two main Leave organisations, Vote Leave and Leave.UK, were involved in financial misconduct and have subsequently been fined. The referendum should have been annulled but only a court has the power to do this; the Electoral Commission does not. It required a subsequent detailed investigation to establish the facts and the matter was then taken to court. It was ruled that although misconduct had occurred, there was no point in annulling the result since the referendum was only advisory and not binding.

 

Voters should appreciate that there is no democratic imperative to uphold and enforce a questionable advisory result. Exactly the opposite. Democracy requires the situation to be clarified and this can only be achieved by holding a second referendum, one that this time is conducted scrupulously. Many of Thursday's candidates support this proposal, and a vote for one of them will be a genuine demonstration of integrity.  

 

 

Roger Porkess

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