Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Should parliamentary candidates be selected in open primaries?

Embed from Getty Images
We will fund 200 all-postal primaries over this Parliament, targeted at seats which have not changed hands for many years. These funds will be allocated to all political parties with seats in Parliament that they take up, in proportion to their share of the total vote in the last general election.
Recognise this? 

It comes from the 2010 Coalition agreement, but we never heard anything about its being put into practice. 

Which was rather a shame.

Joe Zammit-Lucia returns to the subject of open primaries in an article on Radix:
Such an approach would force candidates to take the interests of their constituents in putting forward their platform – not just the narrow interests of their constituency parties. They would have to campaign more widely – providing both training for an eventual election and name recognition within the constituency. 
It could be a way for getting a larger group of voters interested in party affairs without having to become members (something that is anathema to most of the population) and in a way that is in constituents’ self-interest. And it would dilute the power of central party apparatchiks – which is why so many of them would fight against such a system. 
From the constituents’ point of view, they are now invited to participate in a different way – outside any formal election and getting involved in selecting their own candidates.
Given the febrile state of British politics, he passes too quickly over the objection that members of one party would try to sabotage another's selection by voting for an unsuitable candidate.

But it remains an attractive idea.

No comments: