Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Votes by Blackmail

Imagine this scenario: let's assume it is fictitious, as surely it couldn't happen in real life, could it?

A political group on a local council has a leadership challenge, and a vote is called within that political group, i.e. the members of that party (or other) grouping on that council alone. The vote is conducted during one of the regular meetings of that group of elected members.

Now, say that this was to be a sham 'secret ballot', as the group's Whip would be collecting the votes individually, checking each one to find out which way each member had voted. Say, furthermore, that when coming around the meeting to hand out the ballot papers the Whip whispered in each member's ear the following:
  • To backbench members: "I have been instructed to tell you that if you don't vote for our current leader you will not be promoted to chairman, vice-chairman or cabinet member."
  • To holders of such positions: "I have been instructed to tell you that if you don't vote for our current leader you will lose your position as chairman / vice-chairman / cabinet member."
Personally, I'd interpret that as blackmail, and my opinion of the current leader would take a nose-dive. I am aware of this happening, at least twice, but am not prepared to say where or when. I mention it mainly to let my readers know just how low some people will stoop to ensure their personal status is maintained.. This is what is meant by 'self-serving', and anyone found to have done this should be tried for corruption and – if found guilty – removed from office and banned from public office for life.

Hopefully there'd also be a mandatory jail sentence.

Perhaps if we were to get the trash out of our politics, public confidence might then begin to be restored, which must surely be a healthy outcome. While such corruption remains, though, that can probably never be achieved.

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