Election practices ‘a la Joe Stalin’

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FROM:- “CLEISTHENES’ (name and address supplied).

I am writing to express my shock and dismay at recent events in the hallowed Chambers of Craigavon Borough, where what seemed to be a legitimate selection for the office of Mayor was overturned for no good reason (I use the word ‘good’ deliberately here).

That Councillor O’Dowd is an experienced and dedicated servant of all whom she serves (regardless of whom they voted for) and would have been as good a Mayor as any of the candidates did not seem to matter- at least it certainly didn’t as soon as it was found she topped the poll!

Despite what the unionist “Councillors-turned-Spin Doctors” have been trying to say, the fact that she is not now Mayor is unjust, un-democratic, unfair and disgustingly embarrassing for all who live in this area and who turn out to vote in the various elections.

I would be concerned that injustices like these could only serve to potentially lower voter turn out in future elections. For Councillor Moutray to say the councillors had nothing to do with the mechanics of the voting system is stunningly embarrassing!

They had EVERYTHING to do with what is quite simply a fixing of a democratic vote that wasn’t to the liking of some. How can those who participated in this pantomime NOT expect their action to be seen as anything BUT sectarian.

The unionists may have spoken about “looking to precedents” to justify their action, but the real tragedy here isn’t just that Councillor O’Dowd has been cheated of that which was initially and legitimately voted to her, but also that those involved in this sorry and un-democratic act missed an opportunity to set a new precedent of acceptance, respect and a commitment to a shared future for all.

Instead of developing an idea that in Craigavon, all parties are committed to moving forward in the interests of all, regardless of political persuasion, this voting farce has left many believing that unionists are committed to a policy of “If at first you don’t succeed, RIG RIG AGAIN!”.

The events are a sad day for democracy, a gift given by the Ancient Greek politician Cleisthenes- but are a seeminging return to electioneering practices, a la Joe Stalin!