Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Those leadership contest rules

Two things need changing for next time:
  1. MPs should be able to nominate only one candidate. I assume this was the intention of those who wrote the rules, but they have not been interpreted in this way by the returning officer. Even so, one might hope we could depend upon the common sense of our MPs, but apparently this is not the case.
  2. People should not be able to join the party and have a vote in a leadership contest after nominations have opened. Their being able to do so leaves us open to all sorts of undesirable influences, and in the most extreme case would allow an opposing party to choose our leader for us. There are rumours that this loophole has been used to influence the selection in some parliamentary by-elections, but it would be invidious to mention Leicester South in this context.

4 comments:

MatGB said...

Pretty much agree; it seems utterly wrong that a long time lapsed member such as myself can be considering rejoining at this stage, and I understand I can even nominate people if I join up soon.

As for Hemming et al nominating multiples, and Guido's dubious entryism, well, I suspect that'll get changed pretty quickly.

Pip said...

Can't agree with (1). What is the point of MP nominations? It's to ensure that a candidate has a level of support amongst MPs sufficient to ensure those MPs can work with the elected leader. And most MPs might be happy with more than one candidate. It might make sense to only allow them to nominate one candidate if the election itself was run under FPTP and everybody was forced to come down for one candidate only - or if we wanted to ape the Tories and allow the MPs to narrow down the field before the members get a say.

On (2) I'm more on the fence. I largely agree with the democratic principle argument, but in practice it has been very helpful to those of us on the ground who've been trying to sign up our supporters.

James said...

Agree with (2) - although on balance I would prefer a 3-month "cooling off" period than a 12-month period as advanced by the English Party.

(1) I don't agree with. It is a valuable muppet test which only one of the candidates this time round has failed.

Kieran said...

Agree generally with both, although I must admit I only joined the party the other day pushed by this, a poor student convinced to part with beer tokens!