The case against ‘purdah’ – As we approach the May elections, it may be time to question the conventional wisdom about the ‘period of purdah’. To what extent should it affect consultations?
It’s a pretty inappropriate term, but it seems to have been generally adopted in political circles to mean the ‘curtain of discretion’ behind which we can conceal certain activities that would otherwise influence the public before they exercise their democratic right to vote.
In classic British fudge, it mostly relies, not on law, but on a conventional wisdom that accepts that it is better to avoid some situations in the period immediately before an Election. The textbooks call it a ‘self-denying ordinance’. This Topic questions whether we have not allowed the practice to be over-interpreted and applied more restrictively than modern conditions require.