The Westminster Conservative government’s stance of ‘elections yes, volunteer leaflet delivery no, canvassing hell no’ means they want to hold elections in which incumbents and the rich have huge advantages. Incumbents because incumbents get more coverage through other routes anyway, and the rich, because the rich can pay for more leaflet deliveries.
This would-be skewing of elections away from basic elements of democracy has, so far, not resulted in much campaigning from democracy campaigners.
There is real doubt about whether these elections can be free and fair.
It’s not a free and fair election if voters don’t feel safe in casting their ballots.
It’s not a free and fair election if parties are not allowed to campaign.
The government’s failure to learn from the recent US elections, held during the pandemic, is disappointing. Measures such as all-postal voting, early voting and even drive-through voting were all rejected by our Government.
It was especially sad to see the Government raising baseless fears bout fraud and postal voting – echoing what we’ve heard from Trump supporters over the last year.
The headline of the government plan was that voters should bring their own pen.
This isn’t a government that is taking democracy seriously. While it’s completely understandable that the May 2020 elections were postponed, given how early that was during the pandemic, there’s no excuse this time.
The Government has had a year to prepare and they’ve failed.
Unlock Democracy will continue to press for more action to ensure a free and fair election can be held on 6th May. Failing that, there should be a short delay so elections can be held safely once more people have been vaccinated.