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In the News

Concerns about the voting rights of disabled groups in the UK

Mike McCartney

1st March 2024

Shouldn't representative democracy mean free and fair elections?

This segment on Channel 4 News recently makes us question the extent to which our system of elections is really about one person, one vote. If the organisation involved in overseeing the conduct of election in the UK is not making every effort to boost participation among all sectors of society, can we really consider ourselves to be a democracy?

Questions on the video content

1. Why did the Electoral Commission's ad campaign not include representation of people with learning disabilities?
2. What were the reasons given by the Electoral Commission for not including individuals with learning disabilities in the ad campaign?
3. How did the coalition of learning disability groups react to the exclusion of individuals with learning disabilities from the ad campaign?
4. What alternative solution did the Electoral Commission propose to make up for the lack of representation in the ad campaign?
5. How did the individuals with learning disabilities feel about being excluded from the ad campaign?
6. What adjustments could have been made to ensure the inclusion of individuals with learning disabilities in the ad campaign?
7. How did the coalition respond to the challenges faced in trying to get the ad campaign to include individuals with learning disabilities?

Suggested answers


1. The Electoral Commission's ad campaign did not include representation of people with learning disabilities due to budget constraints.
2. The reasons given by the Electoral Commission for not including individuals with learning disabilities in the ad campaign included the requirement for a carer or support worker on set for actors with additional needs.
3. The coalition of learning disability groups expressed disappointment and frustration at the exclusion of individuals with learning disabilities from the ad campaign.
4. The Electoral Commission proposed creating bespoke campaign resources featuring photos of individuals with learning disabilities to complement the main campaign.
5. Individuals with learning disabilities felt disappointed and excluded from society due to their absence in the ad campaign.
6. Reasonable adjustments could have been made to ensure the inclusion of individuals with learning disabilities, such as providing support for those who needed it.
7. Despite challenges in getting the ad campaign to include individuals with learning disabilities, the coalition took matters into their own hands and filmed their own segment for the campaign.

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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