Sunday, 18 March 2012

Unlock candidates

Time to expose a most startling piece of censoring from a different source.
Unlock Democracy!

It calls itself "The UK's leading campaign for democracy, rights and freedoms". Successor organisation to Charter 88.

It has just circulated to its subscribers papers for an internal election for its council.

" No candidate may pro-actively campaign for election online, or allow anyone else to campaign on their behalf." - What the hell is wrong with campaigning online? No explanation given.

Candidates may inform their existing friends and social contacts that they are standing and may answer direct questions about their candidacy, if asked. This rule applies to the informal use of social media (Facebook, Twitter etc). However, there is inevitably a thin line between informing and campaigning via social media and there are circumstances in which a candidate may not be able to control how their communications on social media are subsequently relayed by others.

For these reasons, the Returning Office advises candidates to take great care in communicating via social media their decision to stand. The Returning Officer may disqualify any candidate who they deem to have made a public statement to promote their candidacy".

WHAT THE HELL REASON OR PURPOSE IS THERE, IN OUR "LEADING CAMPAIGN FOR DEMOCRACY" PUTTING UNDEMOCRATIC GAGS ON ITS OWN PROCESS? Would you trust any public election that gave one official the personal discretionary power to "deem" anything factual whose effect is throwing candidates out of elections? That is the same as It is a power of bias over the whole election, to control and select who can stand in it. The same trick as often practised by dodgy unfree states when they put on a controlled show of elections, that we know not to recognise as fair as a result.

Here that person will be a judge of folks' performance at an impossible task of walking on eggshells, at a requirment to get right something so excruciatingly narrowly defined that even in writing the instructions they admit it will be very easy to get wrong, yet still impose the rule and on pain of exclusion from the election. This is totally not reasonable at all. A process with impossible to avoid pitfalls is not a fair or open process at all.

Time to lose trust in Unlock Democracy. What is being protected by an election that no participant can be sure of getting right? and WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNING? WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS?

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