Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 27 April 2007

Scottish and Local Election candidates in my area - and how to cast your vote

For the record, these are the people for whom I am eligible to vote in the elections on 3rd May. I received my postal voting papers yesterday morning but have, quite honestly, not decided whom I should vote for in any particular category, if anyone.

All of the information about those individuals and political parties standing for election in the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Local Government elections has been taken from the official lists of nominations published in the Highland Council website.

Scottish Parliament election:

Constituency - Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber ('First Past the Post')
listed in alphabetic order
- Ewing, Fergus Stewart (Scottish National Party - SNP)
- Harrow, Craig Thomas Alexander (Scottish Liberal Democrats)
- Johnston, Jamie Wiliam Halcro (Scottish Conservative and Unionist)
- Stewart, Linda Ann (Scottish Labour Party candidate)

Highlands and Islands Region ('List' candidates - using the d'Hondt method of voting, the Additional Member System, which is a form of proportional representation)
listed in alphabetic order by political party or individual name (except for 'Alex Salmond for First Minister' which is shown under 'SNP' - much more logical!)
British National Party Local People First (McLean, Scott / Robertson, Roger Cryle) / McBride, Andrew / Tait, Matthew Robert James)
Christian Peoples Alliance - Leader Teresa Smith (Madill, Raymund Paul / Murton, Mary)
Publican Party - Smoking Room In Pubs (Stewart, John Lachlan)
Scottish Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship" (Murray, Murdo Angus / Shaw, Alexander James / Forrest, Tom Deans / Turner, Leslie Hew / Cormack, Jessie Banks / Ross, Angus Fraser / Shearer, Andrew / Wallace, Susan Bain / Bond, Anthony Michael / Cormack, Barrie / Forbes, David James / Morrison, Donald John)
Scottish Conservative and Unionist (Scanlon, Mary Elizabeth / McGrigor, James Angus Roderick Neil / Gardiner, Helen Ishbel / Johnston, Jamie Halcro / Petrie, David Dick / MacDonald, Donald Gunn / Jones, Mark Graham / Hodgson, John)
Scottish Enterprise Party (Brodie of Falsyde, Iain)
Scottish Green Party (Scott, Eleanor Roberta / MacLeod, Donnie / Jardine, Judith Anne / Jardine, David Malcolm / Spindler, Ailsa / Falconer, Murray Taylor)
Scottish Labour Party (Peacock, Peter James / Grant, Rhoda / Stewart, David John / Conniff, Christine Mary / Macmillan, Michael Muirdon / Graham, Dawn Margaret / Harrison, Simon Robert)
Scottish Liberal Democrats (Paterson, Jamie / Foxley, Michael Ewen MacDonald / Rommel, Dominique Gilberte Guy / Davis, Jean Mary Elizabeth / Forrester, Allan Dawson / MacLean, Angela / Hay, Alison)
Scottish National Party ["Alex Salmond For First Minister"] (Ewing, Fergus Stewart / Mather, James Stuart / Gibson, Robert McKay / Gibson, Robert McKay / Thompson, David George / Will, Mhairi Euphemia / Wynd, Robert)
Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party (Fry, James Hughes / Stewart, George William / Scobbie, Donald MacGregor / Dickson, Alexander Gibson Ferguson / Galbraith, Theodora Gillian Kingsbury)
Scottish Socialist Party (Nicolson, Donald / Muir, Rowan / Paterson, Rosalind / Hamilton, William / Laird, Richard)
Scottish Voice (Mackay, Hamish Hay)
Socialist Labour Party (Corbett, Brian Andrew / Watt, Claire / Muir, Colin / Entwistle, Dorothy Edna)
Solidarity - Tommy Sheridan (MacLeod, Anne Elizabeth / Arnott, Steven / Aberdein, John Henry / Anderson, Norma Catherine / Walker, Elizabeth / Ward, Francis / Henderson, Deirdre / Laughland, Shona)
UKIP Scotland (Bannerman, David Campbell / Anderson, Philip / Richmond, Iain Hendry / Geddes, Duncan)

Local Government election
Highland Council:

Ward 19. Nairn (Under a new form of voting using a type of proprtional representation called the'Single Transferable Vote')
listed in alphabetic order
- Fraser, David (Independent)
- Fraser, Laurie Richard (Independent)
- Lennon, James (Independent)
- MacDonald, Elizabeth (Scottish National Party)
- Marsden, Graham Stephen Valentine (Scottish Liberal Democrats)
- Park, Alexander Smith (Independent)
- Ross, Robert Lindsay (Scottish Conservative and Unionist)
- Stevenson, Ronald Alexander (Scottish Labour Party Candidate)

Now, how to cast one's votes. Not for whom they should be cast - that is up to you and to me as individuals to decide - but how to vote:

Although the voting systems for the Scottish Parliament (both 'FPTP' and 'List') remain unchanged the two votes have been combined in different sections on one ballot paper; the 'List' options are listed on the left on a pale yellow background, whereas the 'FPTP' candidates are on the right on a pale lilac background.

The voting system for local government elections has, however, changed significantly. The candidates are listed on a second ballot paper, which is white, but instead of simply marking 'X' against one's choice as in the past, one may now vote for as few or as many of those listed as one wishes, numbering one's votes from '1' up according to whom one prefers most.

The votes are to be counted mechanically for the fist time; I hope the system works! It is quite clear that to attempt to count the Local Government votes manually under the new voting system would be a complex and cumbersome procedure, very prone to error. The 'List' votes for the Scottish Parliament elections are also somewhat cumbersome to count. The 'FPTP' votes are relatively straightforward to count, but I suppose it is becoming increasingly difficult to find enough of the right kinds of people to actually do the counting, hence the inevitability of moving to an automatated counting system.

The Electoral Commission has put out leaflets to every household explaining the procedures for voting (visit the website here for more information) and I reproduce below the parts which explain in detail how to complete the ballot papers:

Your votes and how to exercise them

How to complete ballot papers

Click here to see larger images.

I will publish shortly (probably tomorrow) a post with images of samples of all the election literature I have received so far; I have not received leaflets from some political parties nor from some candidates, but will add these in due course if I do receive them before the elections.

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