Author Archives: Stuart Wilks-Heeg

The Independent View: Is it time to rethink postal voting?

Allegations emerged recently of voters in Rochdale being asked to hand postal ballots for the local elections to party representatives to complete and submit to the Returning Officer. A decade ago, this might have made the national news, but now such stories are probably too familiar to make the headlines.

While electoral fraud is not rife in the UK, the scale of the problem is almost impossible to estimate. One thing is for sure – the Rochdale case does not represent an isolated local difficulty.  Based on joint reporting by the Electoral Commission and the Association of Chief Police Officers …

Posted in Election law, Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged , , and | 14 Comments

The Independent View: Party funding: yes, another review really is necessary

The next 12 months will be crucial to the coalition’s promise to reform party funding and ‘take big money out of politics’. An inquiry, to be conducted under the auspices of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, is already underway and will report in spring 2011, to be followed by inter-party talks.

It could be asked whether we need yet another review. Between 2005 and 2007, three separate reviews highlighted the need for reform, with the inter-party talks which followed the Hayden Phillips review in late 2007 coming close to securing agreement. Some, including Phillips himself, have argued …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged and | 7 Comments
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  • User Avatarexpats 20th Jan - 1:50pm
    To me Harold Wilson is the man who, despite right wing pressure at home, kept the young men of the UK out of Vietnam. As...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jan - 1:45pm
    Innocent Bystander, there may be some truth in your assessment of academic economists, but most big investment banks and multi-nationals will have an economics department...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jan - 1:18pm
    Jimmy Carter presidency was seen as something of a failure. However, much of his best achievements were as an International Statesman, after he was free...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 20th Jan - 1:11pm
    But David, economists only exist to argue unprovable theories with other economists while the rest of us try and make the world function.
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jan - 12:48pm
    David Raw, I wouldn't put Harold Wilson in the category of Lenin, but his development years during the war were spent as a research assistant...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 20th Jan - 12:44pm
    Obviously a real focal point of love and devotion. To have inspired such admiration and affection over their lifetime, is worthy of praise indeed. I...