Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Scams, frauds, banana republics and so on

So the Met Police release a report detailing how the postal vote fraud in London may have affected the results of the local elections (though they have not discussed who benefited). In the publicity about this it is bemoaned that:

minority communities were most vulnerable to the corruption; and that people in minority communities are most at risk because the postal voting forms appear to be so complex.

Hang on a second - isn't the report saying that fraud was more likely among minority communities? Aren't non-minority communities therefore more 'vulnerable' to this scam because their non-fraudulent votes are out-weighed by others' fraudulent ones?

For what it's worth, the absentee ballot should be permitted only to those who are, well, absent. For those who cannot make it to the polling station, an absentee postal vote is a democratic necessity. For those who are either too lazy or too intimidated it is either unnecessary or unfair to provide such a ballot. Postal voting inevitably increases electoral fraud. Since this fraud usually seems to favour our ruling party is it overly cynical to expect this report to be kicked out to the long grass?

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