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Tweet Sadiq and Zac: Will you back online balloting for trade unions in #TUBill?

Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith

Tory London Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith and his Labour opponent Sadiq Khan won their parties’ nominations through online ballots. Both will therefore be pleased to hear that recent polling by YouGov shows the British public support the use of online voting in party elections (with 53% in favour and 22% against).

Unsurprisingly, the public also think unions should be able to use electronic balloting to vote for industrial action – by a similar margin (53% for to 20% against). Yet, unlike parties, unions are still barred by law from using online voting.

Instead when unions want to get their members’ votes, they need to send every member a form in the post, running the gauntlet of getting lost, thrown out with the junk, or sitting for weeks on the shelf waiting for a trip to the post box that never comes. Pretty much everyone else is moving away from postal-only voting, precisely because it’s known to depress turnout.

Allowing union members to use phones and computers to engage in voting would raise turnouts in union votes and give more workers a clear say. The Trade Union Bill offers a chance to do this. But the government doesn’t want to know, and instead seems more intent on adding extra bureaucratic hoops to make union voting more difficult, costly and inefficient.

If online balloting is good enough for Sadiq and Zac – and countless other elections held by parties, professional associations and pretty much any organisation with a membership – it is good enough for trade unions.

UPDATE 9 Jan: Thanks Sadiq! He’s confirmed he’ll back online balloting, acknowledging ballots like his own make an irrefutable case for letting unions use the technology too:

No reply from Zac just yet. Can you please help us ask him?

 

You can help: Tweet Sadiq and Zac, asking them to back online balloting now:


 


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Please help share this. Getting the support of both candidates would be very helpful as members of the House of Lords get ready to debate the Bill.

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07 Jan 16

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