Friday, June 29, 2007

Proof that Government consultations are a waste of money?

Last Sunday, the Scotland on Sunday ran a report about research from Strathclyde University on the Scottish election fiasco which had concluded that failures in the ballot paper design were to blame for the stupidly high number of spoiled ballots. The report noted that,
thousands of people made mistakes because they did not understand the instructions on the papers which, for the first time, asked them to mark two votes on a single sheet.

In both Glasgow and Edinburgh, some of the instructions were truncated to make room for the 23 different parties on the regional list. This, the researchers concluded, was a key reason why people got confused and spoiled their papers.
What the report doesn't mention of course is that the Scotland Office spent £17,000 last summer on an online consultation called "Scottish Parliament Elections May 2007: Ballot Paper Design". Clearly money well spent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surely a system which causes the votes of people too stupid to follow simple instructions is a good thing? After all, you wouldn't bother asking idiots for advice, so why would you want them to assist in choosing a political leader?