Wed | Aug 15, 2018

Why should taxpayers bail out JLP, PNP?

Published:Wednesday | September 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: Although I welcome the proposed amendment to the Representation of the People Act, I am concerned about a number of issues with it.

First, the discretion factors of the commission involved must make part of the process public. You cannot have a select group deciding if a group of persons seeking to form a political party should do so. There are a lot of other blank spaces, another being the timeliness and modus operandi of the due diligence of the Electoral Commission. Applicants may have to wait a long time to get certified.

This bill should have made provisions for cameras to be placed in polling stations to see who leaves and who comes in. I understand that the privacy of the vote needs to be protected, but for too long we have been seeing a lot of questionable activities going on at polling stations, especially in garrison communities.

The amendment needs to include provisions to make ballot boxes more secure. It does not make sense to have all the security in place on the ballot paper, voter IDs, and then the ballot box and its contents can then be switched/stolen and thus nullify the voters' franchise.

Each ballot box needs to have a bar code that uniquely identifies that box by use of a scanner. I go further to suggest that each box must carry some RFID that will trigger a loud alarm if it is moved from its designated area. I will tell you that these are low-cost implementations, as I am sure excuses will be made not to implement this.

Last of all, I do not think political parties should get state funding. Let them work to get their support and put taxpayers' money where it is needed. The Government is not bailing out any small business (the bedrock of the nation) that is distressed. Why should we bail out political parties?