Be alert, be very alert . . .
The fivethirtyeight website is a good place to look to see what US Republican gerrymandering tricks the Tories may get up to next. We are currently seeing Johnson’s crew introducing a vote suppressing photo-ID scheme which could reduce the right of millions of voters without passports or driving licenses to go and vote. This scheme is being introduced to combat electoral fraud—allegedly—but since such fraud is vanishingly rare in the UK it is clear what the real motive is. And building on this suspicion of ‘fraud’ will come a new conspiracy narrative, straight out of the Republican playbook, that elections can be ‘stolen.’ Thankfully in the UK our voting system is pretty straightforward and homogenous, with standard procedures wherever you are in the UK. But the Tories are introducing further measures which could complicate matters, such as extending the time limit for when ex-pats living abroad can vote in UK elections from 15 years to life. I suspect it will be difficult for hard pressed local election officials to detect fraudulent activity by people who left the country say 30 years ago. The Tories have always supposed that comfortably retired Brits on the Costa del Crime would lean towards them, but after Brexit I’m not so sure. I suspect the five million or so Brits living in the EU won’t feel they have much to thank Johnson for, so with any luck this particular ruse may blow up in his face.
The fivethirtyeight article may describe events a little anathema to the UK democratic process, but since we love most things American,* it may only be a matter of time . . .
*One is allowed a little irony now and then
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