Labour insists. Mr Langley says no. But what do you think?

‘Are you thinking of becoming a Councillor?

Aberdeen City Council is committed to strengthening local democracy, and recently held open sessions for people interested in standing for election as a Councillor in May 2012.’

Aberdeen Council is looking for appropriate people to stand in the May elections. Notice the words strengthening local democracy. Fine sentiments.  But what do you think?

‘We will be working closely with our citizens and all of our private and public sector partners because it will be up to all of us, working together’ says Aberdeen City Council with a nod and a wink to local democracy. That’s what the Council says. But what do you think?

The online and telephone voting procedures for replacing Union Terrace Gardens with walkways was judged entirely fair and free from abuse are – surprise, surprise NOT being used in the May council elections. WHY? I don’t know the reasons the Council would use to justify this anomaly although I can imagine. But what do you think?

Members of the Labour group in the Council requested from independent counting officer Crawford Langley (formerly employed by Aberdeen City Council) that it see the records for the city garden vote but were turned down by Mr Langley on the grounds that ‘normal election rules did not apply in this case.’ (P & J 12 March 2012) It’s a point of view but a subjective one and as Mr Langley was only brought in to run the referendum and is not a member of the Council what has it to do with him? But what do you think?

The two Parties responsible for promoting the controversial demolition of the sunken gardens at Union Terrace are the Lib Dems and the SNP.

Lib Dem Councillor Aileen Malone said Labour ‘should accept the will of the people and “move on.”’ (P & J) Lib Dems talking about accepting the will of the people sounds a bit rich to me given what’s been happening at Westminster from where her leader Nick Clegg coincidentally is also urging voters to ‘move on’ from complaining about the ‘reforms’ of  the National Health Service in England and Wales being planned by his Party and the Tories. But what do you think?

SNP Callum McCaig also wanted events to move on – to ‘”more important” issues’ (P&J) Yes I’m sure he does want to move on from this hugely divisive battle in the City which remember maintains to be – how did that go? ‘strengthening local democracy’ – ah, yes just words on a page. But what do you think?

Some Tory said something but life’s too short to quote Tories.

I am sure Mr Langley is absolutely independent and well respected for his knowledge about elections and no-one is questioning this but Mr Langley is one man and in Scotland we should not live by the views of one man. We expect our political system to be open and seen to be totally fair. Any person (or persons) hiding behind procedures flies in the face of open government. But what do you think?

SNP and LibDems insist the vote, postal, telephone and online, showed that the voters in Aberdeen came out in favour of the garden scheme. Fair enough. So what is the point in keeping the vote hidden? Follow the procedures in elections and allow scrutiny of the votes by the Labour Party in the City. The Council can only win through doing this.

Everyone involved in running democratic institutions in this country should remember they are answerable to the people and should not be erecting barriers to openness in carrying out their duties.

But what do you think?

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