Author Topic: Is the Liberal Democrat Party a 'Registered Campaigner' in the AV referendum?  (Read 3138 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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Is the Liberal Democrat Party a 'Registered Campaigner' in the AV referendum?, if not has Penhill Lib Dem Andy Harrison broken electoral law by publishing a 'Yes To AV' message on the back of his election leaflet published below:



As I understand it:

The Parliamentary System and Constituencies Bill will put in place legislation for a referendum to be held on the same day as the local and devolved elections in 2011. The referendum will deal with the voting system used to elect the Westminster Parliament.

Political parties who are not registered campaigners in this referendum will therefore be committing an offence if they spend money on or donate money or resources to the YES (or NO) campaigns.


Unless a political party is a registered campaigner in the referendum local branches of that party cannot legally affiliate to the Yes or No campaign.


Unless a political party is a registered campaigner in the referendum local branches of that party cannot legally donate money to the campaign.


Unless a political party is a registered campaigner in the referendum local branches of that party cannot legally include articles saying vote Yes in their leaflets.


Discuss  :popcorn:



Offline 20Eyes

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Interesting question.

I notice that the 'Say Yes' panel includes the word 'advert' in fairly bold letters at the top - maybe that's the loophole?

If they were paid to include an advert on their flyer, it's not technically spending money or donating money on the cause, affiliating to it or including an article.
"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime." ~ Potter Stewart

Offline Drone

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Inappropriate, possibly dodgy. Are the leaflets by the political party or on behalf of the political party, though? What's the wording at the bottom?
derp derp herp herp derp

Offline the gorgon

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According to the electoral commission:

Primary name:      Liberal Democrats
Referendum:    Parliamentary Voting System Referendum 05/05/2011
Referendum outcome:    YES the alternative vote system should be adopted to elect MPs
Designation status:    No
Status ?:    Authorised

What you need to remember is that the LibDems aren't totally split over the referendum, unlike Labour and the Conservatives, so can participate as a single political party.   

Offline Geoff Reid

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So the Lib Dems are registered campaigners?

Offline the gorgon

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So the Lib Dems are registered campaigners?

I guess so, they're a permitted participant, but I'm no expert...

Labour no to AV and Labour Yes are listed as permitted participants, Labour is not (as they have no official line).
Conservative Yes and Conservative and Unionist Party (official party policy is no) are listed as permitted participants.

Having had a quick look at the LibDem website I'd say it's a fair bet that they are officially registered campaigners (for the yes vote), same is true for the Conservative party  website (for the no vote), whilst Labour are filling the "we are neither for nor against AV" position.

Offline Chav

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Is the Liberal Democrat Party a 'Registered Campaigner' in the AV referendum?, if not has Penhill Lib Dem Andy Harrison broken electoral law by publishing a 'Yes To AV' message on the back of his election leaflet published below:



As I understand it:

The Parliamentary System and Constituencies Bill will put in place legislation for a referendum to be held on the same day as the local and devolved elections in 2011. The referendum will deal with the voting system used to elect the Westminster Parliament.

Political parties who are not registered campaigners in this referendum will therefore be committing an offence if they spend money on or donate money or resources to the YES (or NO) campaigns.


Unless a political party is a registered campaigner in the referendum local branches of that party cannot legally affiliate to the Yes or No campaign.


Unless a political party is a registered campaigner in the referendum local branches of that party cannot legally donate money to the campaign.


Unless a political party is a registered campaigner in the referendum local branches of that party cannot legally include articles saying vote Yes in their leaflets.


Discuss  :popcorn:


We had one of those through our door. It was addressed to a member of our household personally and arrived in an envelope, it appears to be more of a personal letter than a leaflet as the leaflets came seperate.

The name and address of the occupier has been blanked out, so if these were sent out addressed to individual people as letters, then are they still letters or personalised leaflets ?

I must have a leaflet somewhere, as it was very brightly coloured !

We also got our labour leaflet through which was white in background colour.

Who designs the leaflets ? as the contrast is fascinating  .
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline the gorgon

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I've had look  :coffee: at another bit of the electoral commission website http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/legislation/third-partiespermitted-participants/permitted-participants and it states the following:

Quote
Campaigners in referendums are defined by the law as permitted participants.

These can be individuals or organisations that campaign for a particular outcome in a referendum.

In certain circumstances they must register with us and then comply with controls on their spending and donations under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA).


So what the LibDems are doing in their leaflets is 100% above board, same would be true for the Tories, but not for the Labour Party (as there is no official party line and hence registration).  Oddly enough UKIP, who I thought supported PR don't seem to be permitted participants ???

Offline Ringer

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AV is not PR
To qualify for inclusion there is only one rule - something described must have been said to have happened. `If the facts don`t fit the legend, print

Offline the gorgon

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AV is not PR

OK it's semi-proportional  >:D

The UKIP website says they support the AV system, but because they don't seem to be registered as permitted participants they can't actively campaign through their leaflets.

Scurries off to see if they've been naughty...
... no their leaflet is above board.

Offline Geoff Reid

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We had one of those through our door. It was addressed to a member of our household personally and arrived in an envelope, it appears to be more of a personal letter than a leaflet as the leaflets came seperate.

The name and address of the occupier has been blanked out, so if these were sent out addressed to individual people as letters, then are they still letters or personalised leaflets ?

Open the pdf file and enlarge it until, right at the bottom and partially obscured by large bold print, you will notice it says: "Promoted by A Harrison, 35 Odstock Rd".

It's an election leaflet.


Offline Chav

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We had one of those through our door. It was addressed to a member of our household personally and arrived in an envelope, it appears to be more of a personal letter than a leaflet as the leaflets came seperate.

The name and address of the occupier has been blanked out, so if these were sent out addressed to individual people as letters, then are they still letters or personalised leaflets ?

Open the pdf file and enlarge it until, right at the bottom and partially obscured by large bold print, you will notice it says: "Promoted by A Harrison, 35 Odstock Rd".

It's an election leaflet.

Ah yes I see ............ I missed that bit  :embarassed:
Thank you Geoff  O0
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.