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« Focus relentlessly on Brown, urges 'Watlington' | Main | Will Liam Fox be damaged by Saatchigate? »

Comments

Mark O'Brien

Maude's promise to have a leader in place by November is promising, but it doesn't coat the deal with enough sugar. Because I want a leader soon in order to develop policies and get out campaigning for government immediately, an election by November would be preferable. But if this could be matched by a promise that we could review the rules yet again after the leadership election and have a good, private-ish discussion about the rights of the membership, with some changes for the future, that would make it more acceptable to me personally.

James Hellyer


More important than having a leader in place by November is making sure we have the right leader in place and that his or her way forward has been endorsed by the party membership.

Wat Tyler

I think those seeking to undermine our democracy should be deported to the Lib Dems forthwith. And frankly I don't care if the LDs do employ vacuity torture.

And using the argument that 'we can't afford the further delay of using the existing rules'- as D Green and J Kirkbride said yesterday- is "a bit rich" coming from those who got us into this situation in the first place.

Let's hope Strafford and Legg are right in their assessments.We must all do everything we can to support them.

Edward

Nothing could be worse than keeping with the system that elected Duncan Smith

James Hellyer

"Nothing could be worse than keeping with the system that elected Duncan Smith"

Perhaps having seen the system in action once, the MPs would be less ready to give the membership a false choice.

None of the proposed reforms address the real problem anyway: the disloyalty of our MPs.

Edward

The reason why the system used last time was rubbish was that it gave the members a choice between someone they didn't know and someone they didn't like. So they chose the one they didn't know.

The proposed new system gives the power to the MPs which most activists support, whilst giving quantifiable and visible consultation to everyone.

Apparently what will happen is a meeting in each constituency where you have a debate and a vote to produce 2 names which your chairman votes for at the Convention.

That is so much better than the OMOV system, it will be much easier to hold your MP to account when he votes for Ken Clarke after the meeting said vote for Davis.

It will also cut the time from 10 weeks to about 3-4. Less negative media coverage, woot.

James Hellyer

"The reason why the system used last time was rubbish was that it gave the members a choice between someone they didn't know and someone they didn't like. So they chose the one they didn't know."

That's not a fault with the system. That's a fault with the MPs. They were the ones who tactically voted to try and bounce Ken Clarke into the leadership. Now they know better.

It's also worth pointing out that a contest open to the members should mean that the candidates are forced to get out there and sell themselves.

"The proposed new system gives the power to the MPs which most activists support, whilst giving quantifiable and visible consultation to everyone."

Quantifiable in the sense that we will be asked our views and then those views can be freely ignored. This can only serve to create tensions between the party in the country and Westminster.

Given that so many MPs have already declared their support for a candidate, this system is already a sham.

"That is so much better than the OMOV system, it will be much easier to hold your MP to account when he votes for Ken Clarke after the meeting said vote for Davis."

Except, of course, that it won't be easier to hold them to account. Our MPs vote in a secret ballot after all.

James Hellyer


And Edward, what say do the members in the constituencies that DON'T have a Conservative MP get?

Even if they do get consulted, they have nobody to vote on their behalf or whom they might try and hold accountable.

We should remember that these are the people in the areas we need to win to get back into government, and how will a London based Mp know what's needed in Scotland, say?

Selsdon Man

I agree with Mr Hellyer. It was the MPs who gave a choice of IDS and Clarke. The members should have been able to vote for all the candidates.

As for the new system, the consultation is a sham. MPs will, as before, ignore the members.

The new system goves one vote for Scotland and three for Wales. There no votes for members in none Northern Ireland (yes there are Conservatives there!),Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool or Cornwall! How representative for a modernising party whose new MPs are advocating direct democracy!!

MPs want our vote at selection meetings, our money for their campaigns but not our say on who leads us. Our MPs should vote publicly at the Constitutional Convention so that their local associations know how they voted. We also need assurances that the Whips will not exert pressure on MPs.


How can we expect the people to vote for us when we disenfranchise our own members! How can we ridicule Labour's electoral college with the union block vote now?

We must act now. Our democracy is under threat.


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