Ah bourach

  • Brian Taylor
  • 4 May 07, 12:51 PM

Let's cut to the chase here re: this voting guddle. There was a big problem getting out the correct number of postal ballots. There was a huge challenge for voters in filling in the ballot forms. There was then a problem with e-counting.

That means the authorities are saying:

1. we couldn't get all the ballot papers out
2. they were so complex, folk couldn't fill them in
3. when they finally filled them in, we couldn't count the blasted things!

There's a splendid Gaelic word, bourach. It means an utter, hideous mess. This is bourach, Mach Five.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 10:02 AM on 05 May 2007,
  • I Ferguson wrote:

Nice one, Brian!

  • 2.
  • At 10:49 AM on 05 May 2007,
  • Allan wrote:

There is a need to seperate the issues in relation to the ballots.

It appears that there was not the same error of rejected papers for the local government counts as was the case for the parliament.

That might therefore point the finger more at the joint ballot paper used for the parliamentary seat, rather than the introduction of a "new" system. My recollection of the form is that the guidance for voting can be construed as unclear - if I remember correctly it's tells you that you have two votes in large print but it's only in the smaller print that it's one "X" for each column. The majority of rejections were for two "X"'s in the one column at the count I was at.

Personally, I do think we should have the polls on diferent days in any event by seperating the timing of the elections so that they happen in cycle so that we have them every couple of years. I also think we should have STV for the parliament as well - the current system was a sop to the Labour Party to ween them from FPTP, and is an unsatisfactory hybrid of systems for a PR devotee like myself

As for the counting technology it worked very well for the purposes it was introduced - which is counting STV elections, and this is where it saves time.

It does not save time, and probably takes longer, for the parliamentary votes which remain, in essence, FPTP counts. These would have been completed more quickly by hand.

There also appears to be general supposition that computerised counting will be faster. It will, but only for STV counts. The initial counts and the validation of ballots will always be time-consuming.

A total aside ... 'bourach' is actually the Scots form of the word. Gaels call it 'b├╣rach'. Means the same though.

  • 4.
  • At 03:04 PM on 05 May 2007,
  • Gordon McDonald wrote:

Hi John,

Just a quickie to let you know that you were absolutly right when you said the Scottish Election was "Ah bourach". I would have liked to vote but did'nt because I felt the ballot papers were too complicated.

However, I can't deny my pleasure of SNP getting in and think the next four years will be very interesting for Scotland.

Chirnside, Scottish Borders.

  • 5.
  • At 07:42 AM on 06 May 2007,
  • Michael McFarlane wrote:

"Bourach", sounds like a fine word.
However, the wider World has been watching this and the more easily understood expression "Pathetic Incompetence", should also be used as well as the fact that it was the system of use decided by the Labour/Lib-Dem pact despite the many warnings from others who could see the pitfalls. The dismissal by Labour/Lib-Dem regarding the warnings on this matter, is an example off the arrogant style of government they have become. The descendants of the people who first gave them their political power, are now as educated as they are and we will not give over our trust as blindly as before unless we are treated with due respect.

  • 6.
  • At 12:36 AM on 08 May 2007,
  • james s wrote:

I am worried for the thousands of jobs that will be lost if the SNP have control! I work for local govt and know that my job will be scrapped in favour of a few promises that they made before the addition to this. The lost investment by the UK Govt in fear of wasted money in giving it to another country would mean losing out in the next few years and a growing English nationalist attitude.

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