Service Voting: can we make it work for us?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by tombuchanan, Sep 4, 2007.

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  1. I was at a briefing the other day, given on behalf of a senior officer, where it was pointed out that service voting is a potentially very powerful tool. As I understand it, we can register to vote anywhere we like as service voters, provided we re-register annually, and exercise our democratic rights in our chosen constituency. Some official figures suggest there are currently around 140,000 service voters. How about if a significant number of us registered to vote in, say, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath? The current incumbent, soon to to celebratory (or is that celebrity?) author of a book on military heroism and his admiration of the same, our beloved leader, Gordon Brown, has a majority of 18,216: 13% of our collective voting power. I'm not suggesting we vote against him, but he may sit up and pay a little more attention to those little matters, such as the lives of British servicepeople, which he financially undermined and ignored so studiously as Chancellor if we suddenly dominate his electoral register. Is my undertanding correct? Could this work?And if it will can someone who isn't serving pick it up adn run with it?
  2. Be good if we could vote securely in an online site, for example armynet, instead of doing so by proxy
  3. e-Voting was tried where I live a few years ago. There's no real way to verify that the votes that end up in the computer were actually cast.

    A better solution might be to grant your proxy to one of the candidates standing against Brown. They wont vote for anybody but themselves. The SNP were his nearest rivals in 2005 but he has a majority of 18,000.

    Could enough service voters be organised to make this happen?
  4. I also think this idea is worth investigation. Collectively the forces vote is a very powerful weapon, if organised and focused. There is also a noble tradition of independents in the House of Commons (Martin Bell (ex Suffolk Regt), and that Doctor who stood on the defend the local hospital ticket to name but two).

    All three parties have let us down badly and I can't see any of them changing the status quo. We need a suitable candidate who will give us a voice and represent the forces and their families.

    With the Forces block vote tactically deployed in a series of select key marginals it might just work. It would certainly send a rocket up the collective ARRSES of the current useless lot in the Commons.

    The media is full of speculation that Broon may go to the country very soon. How about Op FORCES VOTE 2007?

    (edited for school boy error)
  5. Registration in the PM's constituency is a clever idea, which has come up on this site from time to time. The significance to me is that it indicates dissatisfaction which is not necessarily connected with any one political party.

    Without of course knowing the context, I am slightly dubious about the statement at the start of this thread:
    It is quite true that service voters, if they all voted the same way, could make a decisive difference to the vote in very marginal constituencies. Most (perhaps all) parliamentary constituencies have some service members on the electoral register.

    While some constituencies have significant service and service family populations, I think it healthy for all MPs and parliamentary candidates to be conscious that they are likely to have service or service family members on the local register - whether identified as service voters or not.

    (Incidentally, for similar reasons BAFF has carried out a statistical study of armed forces populations and local authority areas.)

    Turning now to the idea of service voters registering en masse in the Prime Minister's constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath... We used to hear the same suggestion about Sedgefield! -

    Since 2001, those who are eligible to register as service voters have had the alternative of registering as ordinary voters, in the constituency where they live. Such people could re-register as service voters if they wished, but the total number of registered service voters is obviously less than the total service population plus eligible family members.

    The real difficulty with "everyone register in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath" is that you need an address in the constituency:
    Source: Service voter combined leaflet/registration form (pdf)
  6. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    You have to have a valid address, so you can't gang up and hit a particular candidate. However ... you CAN vote anyway. How many people can't even be arrsed to vote?

    When I were involved in UK politics, a LibDem councillor admitted to me that his son walked home from work, past the polling station, and was too lazy to vote for his Dad. [or, of course, he had more sense :wink: ].

    EVERY vote counts, so use it ... wherever and however you can. That's the democracy that people fought and died for, not vote-rigging or trying to gang up on a particular MP.

    ex-Surrey :wink:
  7. I would second B-Ss view that every vote counts. My associate lost in His council election last year BY A SINGLE VOTE.
  8. I have made a point of voting at my polling station in Uniform and when possible at a time to maximise visibility. It helps remind civpop about the choices they is only little action but I believe its quiet powerful.
  9. Nice one, Jailorinummqasr!

    Also concur with earlier points: "every vote counts!"
  10. An excellent idea, CS95 for every future election for me!

    I won't wear my crab blue uniform in case I am mistaken for a traffic warden.