Mann: More Voters or Just a ‘Good News’ Story

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

According to a BBC (IOM) report an extra 4,000 people ‘have registered to vote in a shake-up of the Island’s electoral register’.

With 47,323 people now registered, following what is described as the biggest update of the island’s register since 2006, the figures are described as ‘very encouraging’ by electoral authorities. Figures they say have increased by four thousand since 2006.

But hang on! The population of the Island has increased by about six thousand since 2006. Latest figures estimate it at about 86,500. If that is the case almost 40,000 people are not registered to vote. Now although children under the age of 16 years obviously can’t vote there must be some youthful tilt in the age demographic if we have almost 40,000 under sixteen year olds on an Island of 86,000.

It certainly puts a different spin on all that doom and gloom from Chief Minister Allan Bell and his ‘Chamber’ chums about an ageing population. Someone also needs to tell Treasury Minister Eddie Teare that those pension changes he has moted may not be that urgent!

Seriously this ‘good news’ comes out following anecdotal reports from the two recent by-elections suggesting a number of people turning up to vote found they were not on the register and were therefore excluded.

Some weeks ago anything up to 13 elected local authority members were effectively disenfranchised because they were no longer on the electoral roll.

This news about 4000 extra people on the register sounds suspiciously like an attempt to spin a good news story out of a bad one. Why not just say how many people on the Island approximately are eligible to vote and how many are not registered. I bet even North Korea has an up to date voters list. It must have Kim gets 100% of the vote!

Both the by-elections I mentioned were hardly fought like ‘US primary’s’. Indeed they were decidedly lack-lustre and yet ‘the punters’ turned out in healthy numbers to pop their voting slip in the box.

There’s obviously a healthy appetite for democracy so it would be a travesty if significant numbers of people are not on the election lists and no amount of ‘good news’ stories will alter that!

BERNARD MOFFATT

Issued by: The Celtic News

14/09/15

THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE

The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues

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