Friday 30 October 2009

When is a majority not a majority?

A central argument of the Conservative union reforms of the 1980s was that a ballot was necessary to call a strike. Not calling a national ballot was one of the political mistakes made by Arthur Scargill in the NUM miners' strike 25 years ago.

Now the Conservatives are considering legislation so that strike ballots would not be eligible unless 50% of those being called out (and so eligible to vote) vote yes.

The Guardian reports:

The Tories are looking at introducing laws setting new minimum turnout thresholds for strike ballots on the basis that they can only be lawful disputes if a majority of those being called out on strike have voted for it in a ballot. In the case of the Royal Mail dispute there was a clear majority for the strike among those voting, but not among the total workforce.

The Unions Together campaign point out that there is no Conservative MP in the House of Commons with a majority of the eligible electorate. (The Conservative party opposes modest reforms, such as the Alternative Vote, which requires a candidate to get 50% of those voting, though that is the principle by which Tory candidates are selected).

They have launched an online petition and campaign against the proposal, arguing that it would have been too extreme for Margaret Thatcher.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Will they have more than a yes or no vote then?

A maybe, or if skint?