While David Cameron will doubtless consult with his MPs and Peers, he does not need their formal approval before he makes any decision. There is no part of the Conservative Party’s functioning which requires any matter to be put to a ballot of all members, save the appointment of a new leader. And it was the instinct of the present Conservative leadership to deprive Party members even of that.
In short, as a result of the Hague reforms of 2001 which gave Tories their first written constitution, the Conservative Party is in the hands of David Cameron to do with as he pleases. If MPs object, they can be deselected; if candidates resile, they cease to be ‘approved’; if the volunteer membership of turnip taliban, dinosaurs and backwoodsmen dare to utter a syllable of dissent, they can be completely ignored for they have no role at all, save to host occasional bridge evenings and hold the odd fund-raising barbeque.
Perhaps the Liberal Democrats can help guide the Conservative Party towards greater internal democracy.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
A Conservative blogger casts envious eyes on Lib Dem internal democracy
After discussing the Liberal Democrats' "triple lock" arrangements, Archbishop Cranmer concludes: