Thursday, January 17, 2013

The police don't care about electoral law

New figures from the Electoral Commission tell us what we already know: the police don't give a shit about electoral law:

Police are still investigating 89 alleged breaches of electoral law relating to the 2011 general election, new information has revealed.

Police say there were 62 complaints of individuals voting twice, while nine candidates did not file their returns by the due date of 30 April last year.

They have completed only two of the 94 cases the Electoral Commission referred to them following the election. No prosecutions were made from those investigations.

Most of these cases (e.g. double-voting and failure to file returns) are not exactly complicated. Being left this long shows that they are simply not regarded as a priority by the police. They'd rather focus on "real crime", like putting petty drug users in jail, rather than protecting our democracy. And in the case of offences allegedly committed under the Broadcasting Act - which included unlawful electoral programmes and overspending of the broadcast advertising limit, this has resulted in the time limit for prosecution expiring, and those alleged offenders getting away with it.

This isn't acceptable, and it has reduced our electoral laws to a joke. If the police aren't going to do the job, then we should take it off them and give it to someone who will: the Electoral Commission.