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« Eurosceptic Lamont warms to Clarke because of Iraq | Main | Ken Clarke trounces rivals in Newsnight poll »

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James Hellyer


Or an "edit" facility (other than your good self, obviously)?

Editor

Or a search facility?

Or a waiter to serve drinks whilst you are reading each other's posts?

The waiter could even serve up those really curvy N-shaped bannanas...

When I have made my millions I will run an all-singing, all-dancing website.

In the meantime...

James Hellyer


Sounds like you've got a business plan...

Simon C

"Or a waiter to serve drinks whilst you are reading each other's posts?"

Now that's a truly great idea - why don't you give it a trial run by hosting a ConservativeHome stand at the Party Conference?

You could even get some sponsors to provide the refreshments - drinks from Urbium, cigars from BAT... free health-checks from Doctor Fox.

James Hellyer


Who knows where it could all end?

"A Conservativehome internet cafe in every constituency"

How's that for a vision statement?

Simon C

Would Tim allow them to be smoke-filled rooms though?

James Hellyer


Only the Rushcliffe branch.

Editor

And people say that the Tories do not have big ideas for the future of Britain!

Sally Rideout Baker

News Knight (spell cheque on) has finally put the nail into David Davis.

Gareth

http://www.politics.co.uk/party-politics/conservative-party/tension-ahead-tory-rules-vote-$15044983.htm

Tension ahead of Tory rules vote
Thursday, 15 Sep 2005

Speculation grows over Tory leadership rules vote

Theresa May believes many Tory MPs are beginning to think like her in opposing proposed changes to the leadership election rules.


The shadow family minister has from the outset expressed concern about attempts to exclude party members from any meaningful role in choosing the next leader.

With speculation mounting that activists will reject the proposals on the vote on September 27th, Ms May now believes many MPs are coming around to that idea too.

"Certainly the feelings I am getting are that actually both sides of the party may very well reject the proposed changes," she told World at One.

She said that the mood among MPs has been changing as they have had discussions with members and activists in their constituencies over the summer.

"I think there are more MPs now who feel that actually a balanced compromise like an electoral college would be preferable to simply taking the vote back into the hands of MPs alone," she continued.

Ms May added: "It has been one of the things we have been able to say to people about membership of the party - that you get a vote in the election of the leader. Now we are proposing to take that away."

The proposals must be backed by two thirds of both MPs and the leaders of what Tories call the voluntary party, and this morning party chairman Francis Maud urged MPs to ensure this threshold was reached.

He admitted the Conservatives would look "pretty damn silly" if they were not agreed, but said be believed they would be because MPs have backed them in the past.

"The 1922 committee has voted twice by a very large majority for exactly this proposal, which is why we put it forwards. We also had a lot of indication that the voluntary party wanted this kind of proposal," he told Today.

Mr Howard has written to MPs warning that the party faces "chaos" if the proposals are discarded, as it would result in returning to the current rules of a ballot among party members, which could take months to complete.

Gareth

Go Theresa!!!!!!!! If the changes are voted down,and she isn't made leader, what about a Sainthood?

James Hellyer

Michael Howard is right to worry. Many MPs who previously supported disenfranchisement now want to make sure the members get a say.

Only this week my constituency's MP, Geoffrey Cox, who had voted in favour of the amendment in both 1922 Committee meetings, declared that he supported the idea of an electoral college, but as that option was not on offer, would instead vote to keep the current arrangements.

Oberon Houston

Well, that’s it then, OMOV and an electoral collage [sic].

I thought in a recent poll of members they were 2/3 in favour of leaving the final say to MP’s. Are we in danger of blogging ourselves into another orbit here? Or are my poll understandings wrong?

Confused.

Editor

Two-thirds are in favour of MPs having the final say, Oberon, but I guess that a good proportion of that two-thirds are saying so out of loyalty to the party leader and because they've heard Francis Maude's threats of "disaster" etc if they don't vote for change.

What YouGov failed to ask was - 'did members want any say?'. ConservativeDemocracy.com's own (unscientific) survey found a very similar result to the question asked by YouGov (suggesting it might be reasonably representative) but also two-thirds wanting some democratic say. The Howard-Maude-Monbiot proposals offer no democratic say.


James Hellyer


The option on offer now totally disenfranchises the members. Although polls have shown that most members supported giving MPs the final say, they also showed that they wanted members to retain some vote in the process. Under the triple lock system, it's unlikely that if all control was returned to the MPs that they would ever vote to relinquish it.

James Hellyer


I tried to find the link to ConservativeDemocracy.com's survey, Tim, but it just leads to today's newslinks...

Simon C

Glad that Geoffrey Cox has swung round to democracy, James. Now perhaps you can convince him for Liam!

Editor

Sorry about that James - a number of old links no longer work because of the summer's site redesign.

James Hellyer

"Glad that Geoffrey Cox has swung round to democracy, James. Now perhaps you can convince him for Liam!"

That's my next mission!

Oberon Houston

Still Confused.

James Hellyer


Why are you confused, Oberon? Most members apparently don't mind the MPs having the final say. However they want to have a say too. But that's not the option on offer.

For example, Geoffrey Cox said it was the members party and that with all the hard work we put in, we deserve a say in who's leader. He therefore favours an electoral college (albeit one that gives MPs the decisive say). That option isn't on offer, so he's supporting the status quo.

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