You would have thought that all MPs and councillors would agree that 'Democracy is a good thing' and 'We should encourage people to exercise their democratic right to vote'.
But you'd be wrong. With the Conservative's Election Bill soon to become law photo identification will be required when voting at a polling station. In a devastating condemnation of the Bill the Conservative-led Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee estimated that, in a general election, over 1 million people would be deterred from voting. These would be predominately less well off, young and from ethnic minorities i.e. people who are less likely to vote Conservative.
Are there many cases of people pretending to be someone else at Polling Stations? When asked, the minister said: 'The number of prosecutions for identity fraud cannot be identified separately from broader fraud offences.' But researchers have found that in the 2 years 2017/8, there was one conviction. One in the whole country!!
Voters without a driving licence, a passport or an elderly person's travel pass will need to apply to the Council in advance, provide a photograph and have their application form counter-signed. You couldn't make it up!
"I loathe the idea on principle. I never want to be commanded, by any emanation of the British state, to produce evidence of my identity … I will take that card out of my wallet and physically eat it." Boris Johnson. But now ID cards serve his only remaining political purpose: to get re-elected.
The bill's other nonsense concerns mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections: it sweeps away the present second-preference system in favour of the unfairest of all, the antique first past the post (FPTP). Why? Because Tories are more likely to win under FPTP. And that's reason enough for this unprincipled government.