Labour motion undermines council garden stance

Labour MSP John Park has tabled a motion that undermines Labour’s key argument to overturn the result of the Aberdeen City garden referendum.

Mr Park’s motion calls for the Scottish Government to examine “alternative methods of voting such as telephone voting, mobile phone voting and online voting” as a means of boosting voter turnout.

But this clashes with Labour’s argument that the result of the referendum should be nullified because online and telephone voting were used.

And the motion also conflicts with comments from Labour local government spokeswoman, Sarah Boyack, during a parliamentary debate, where she said:

"Online and telephone voting were permitted, and those produced a different outcome from the postal ballot. They were not secure, and anyone opening an envelope containing the voter's ballot paper could obtain the unique identifying number which was all that was needed to record a vote.”

Mark McDonald, SNP MSP North East, said:

“The hypocrisy of Labour is once again laid out for all to see. They say use of online and phone voting resulted in an unsafe result in the City Garden referendum – but they also argue such methods should be used to increase voter turnout.

“Tensions are rising in Labour, with John Park undermining his party’s stance on the Aberdeen City Garden referendum result.

“The question is – which stance will the Labour party go with? Does it back examining these sorts of voting methods or not? It can’t have it both ways.

“John Park is quite right to call for these sorts of voting methods to be investigated.

“It is high time his colleagues in Aberdeen and parliament stopped suggesting these voting methods are somehow less secure than other methods.

“Labour must stop using fig leaves to hide their paltry justifications for overturning the democratically expressed wishes of 45,000 Aberdonians.

“Instead they should concentrate on producing positive policies for moving the city forward. Nearly three weeks on from the election we are still none the wiser as to what the new administration actually propose to do.”

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