Standing for election is a human right

in Campaigns Corner
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sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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In the UK over 5.5 million people work in central and local Government. Many of those workers will be disqualified from standing for election. As a local authority worker for Leeds City Council, myself and all my 14,632 colleagues are disqualified from standing for election to our city council. Disqualifying almost 15,000 people from standing for election seems quite bizarre to me, not many people are interested in politics, the bigger the pool to choose from, the better. The turnout in my electoral ward in 2016, in Leeds was just under 31%, a sad reflection on how people feel about politics. In the English local elections of 2016, in some areas fewer than one in five eligible voters went to their local polling station to cast a vote, we have a broken system. But the Scottish system seems much better, the turnout in the 2012 Scottish local elections was 39.6%, and in 2017 local elections turnout was 46.9%


In Scotland the rules were changed in 2005 so that an employee of a local authority could stand for election to that authority, and would only have to resign their employment if they were elected. The Electoral Commission carried out a report for the government in 2015, the report recommended that England should adopt the same qualifying rules for elections as Scotland, and local authority workers should be allowed to stand, but they would have to resign their job with the local authority if elected. The report has not been acted upon yet. The Conservative gave the DUP £1 billion so that they can get bills through Parliament, but very little few bills are being processed.


"The Electoral Commission recommend that the law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is changed to make a clear distinction between offices or employment which would prevent someone standing for election, and those which would prevent someone from holding office if elected"
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  • robpw2robpw2 Forumite
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    JR time :) under the eu convention - get in quick whilst you still have time he he


    Slimming world start 28/01/2012 starting weight 21st 2.5lb current weight 17st 9-total loss 3st 7.5lb
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  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    robpw2 wrote: »
    JR time :) under the eu convention - get in quick whilst you still have time he he

    We will have at least a 2 year transition, and then I don't expect any change.
  • esuhlesuhl Forumite
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    Good grief! I never knew that! I'm astounded.
    sevenhills wrote: »
    In Scotland the rules were changed in 2005 so that an employee of a local authority could stand for election to that authority, and would only have to resign their employment if they were elected.

    ^^ How very sensible. Let's adopt the same laws in the rest of the UK.
  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    esuhl wrote: »
    Good grief! I never knew that! I'm astounded.

    ^^ How very sensible. Let's adopt the same laws in the rest of the UK.

    "The Labour party commented “In general, employment disqualifications should take effect when the candidate is elected. Other disqualifications including bankruptcy, previous convictions and prison sentences should take effect at the time of nomination”. This view was broadly supported by the Liberal Democrats, the DUP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The Conservative Party on the other hand stated “There would be advantages in having a standard date of disqualification - that date should sensibly be the date of nomination."

    No surprise that the Conservatives are the odd man out and do not want a change.
  • martinsurreymartinsurrey Forumite
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    sevenhills wrote: »
    "The Labour party commented “In general, employment disqualifications should take effect when the candidate is elected. Other disqualifications including bankruptcy, previous convictions and prison sentences should take effect at the time of nomination”. This view was broadly supported by the Liberal Democrats, the DUP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The Conservative Party on the other hand stated “There would be advantages in having a standard date of disqualification - that date should sensibly be the date of nomination."

    No surprise that the Conservatives are the odd man out and do not want a change.

    What do you do when someone wins an election but refuses to resign?

    re run the vote, at huge expense?
  • martinsurreymartinsurrey Forumite
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    sevenhills wrote: »
    "The Labour party commented “In general, employment disqualifications should take effect when the candidate is elected. Other disqualifications including bankruptcy, previous convictions and prison sentences should take effect at the time of nomination”. This view was broadly supported by the Liberal Democrats, the DUP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The Conservative Party on the other hand stated “There would be advantages in having a standard date of disqualification - that date should sensibly be the date of nomination."

    No surprise that the Conservatives are the odd man out and do not want a change.
    What do you do when someone wins an election but refuses to resign?

    re run the vote, at huge expense?

    to add on to my question above.

    What do you do if someone wins the election but has a 6 month notice period (can be the case in higher positions)?

    The first council meeting is 2 weeks after the election, and the now member will still have 5.5 months employed by the authority they now oversee.
  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    What do you do when someone wins an election but refuses to resign?

    re run the vote, at huge expense?

    A person cannot stand if they hold a politically restricted post; which would mean that all the other workers have no political influence - even though they work for the local authority.

    However, if you are elected, you must resign your office, employment or other place of profit on the first working day after you have been elected if you want to take up your seat. Your resignation will take immediate effect regardless of any notice period previously specified.

    The above are the rules that are in place, in Scotland.

  • Enterprise_1701CEnterprise_1701C Forumite
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    I am struggling to see how standing for election is a human right?

    I would never consider it as such, it is something a lot of people choose to do, but if we go down this path we will get totally unsuitable people trying to do so when they would not get a job any other way.

    Also you have to take into account people that have no desire to do the job but would just stand and get elected anyway, possibly through intimidation or the such, as occurs in other countries.

    No, standing for election is not a human right.
    What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare
  • martinsurreymartinsurrey Forumite
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    sevenhills wrote: »
    A person cannot stand if they hold a politically restricted post; which would mean that all the other workers have no political influence - even though they work for the local authority.

    However, if you are elected, you must resign your office, employment or other place of profit on the first working day after you have been elected if you want to take up your seat. Your resignation will take immediate effect regardless of any notice period previously specified.

    The above are the rules that are in place, in Scotland.


    So its okay for the head of a department, say adult social care to just not turn up to work, leaving the department without a leader for the months it takes to replace them, and giving no handover to the new person? they are in the middle of a serious reorganisation and just "!!!!!!" - gone.

    Seems pretty bad for the department concerned, and bad for the people who use the services.
  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    So its okay for the head of a department, say adult social care to just not turn up to work, leaving the department without a leader for the months it takes to replace them, and giving no handover to the new person? they are in the middle of a serious reorganisation and just "!!!!!!" - gone.

    Seems pretty bad for the department concerned, and bad for the people who use the services.

    Any head of department may well be considered to be working in a politically sensitive role, and would be disqualified from standing.
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