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« Malcolm Rifkind: You Rightists aren't serious about one nation Toryism | Main | Editorial: Two cheers for Francis Maude »

Comments

James Hellyer


Evenhanded? I'm going to check where you last referred to smoke filled rooms!

Okay, it was an editorial...

Wat Tyler

Ed...I've also had it suggested to me that we revolting peasants may have cleared the way for the Cuddly One.

But at the end of the day, when all's said and done, when the cows come home to roost, democracy is surely the most important bit. Our Party just cannot afford to go backwards.

Anyway, I have great faith in the sound judgement of our much maligned members. And I'm sure they're going to pick the right man.

malcolm

Whatever the result you have done the right thing in campaigning for retaining Conservative Party democracy.If Ken wins because the members have voted for him it will be better for the party as a whole than if for example DD wins on the votes of the MPs alone.

Sean Fear


I think that's right. Retaining member involvement in the leadership election matters more than the outcome of the present election.

James Maskell

Youve made the right call here Editor. If we allow the party to remove the vote then we will be failing as members of a so-called democratic party. If we were to let them do that we wouldnt be Conservatives.

I dont think you will pay the price...you have done the right thing and you can hold your head high for the stance you have taken.

Michael Fishwick

Malcolm, "If Ken wins because the members have voted for him it will be better for the Party as a whole than if for example DD wins on the votes of MPS alone"...Change the year from 2005 to 2001 and change the word 'Ken' to 'Duncan Smith'. Democarcy and fairness are great if we want to carry on electing leaders which please Party members and nobody else. MPs represent the people. Members represent themselves.

James Hellyer


MP's are supposed to represent their consituency, Michael. That does not mean that their views are representative of either their constituents or the party they were elacted as reprentatives of.

Michael

Of course James. But I still prefer my naive view to being dogmatic about a democratic Party which could saddle us with another leader who can't win an election. The tail shouldn't wag the dog.

James Hellyer


The MPs are the tail, Michael. They are selected as candidates to stand for their local (and national) party.

Daniel Vince-Archer

I guess the key question on this matter is which is more important - the means (i.e. how the leader is selected/elected) or the ends (i.e. which leader is selected/elected)?

malcolm

I don't know how many MPs you know Michael but the idea that they represent their constituents made me smile a bit.You don't think friendship ,ideological similiraties,preferment and patronage play any part in their decision as to who to vote for do you?
I voted for IDS in 2001 and now wish I hadn't.We all learn by experience.After another catasrophic election defeat and 4 more years of utterly ineffectual opposition I will vote for the candidate who I believe will lead us to victory.If that is Ken I will swallow my euroscepticism,vote and campaign for him and try to help him in any way I can.

Sean Fear


Most Conservative voters at the last election didn't get a Conservative MP. Whose going to represent their views?

James Maskell

To Daniels question the means is more important. The democratic will of the Party as a whole has to be the leading factor. If the Party wish Malcolm Rifkind to be leader (its possible) then we have to accept the result, however much many of us may not like that situation. We cant for example say "We cant let the members pick because they will pick Mr X instead of Mr Y. The MPs will choose Mr Y...lets have the MPs vote instead". Thats not fair and its not right.

michael

Sean, activists who don't have an MP (like me) are allowed to communicate with MPs in the Party.

Daniel Vince-Archer

The reason I asked the question is that all this talk of engineering the leadership s/election process in order to prevent/ensure certain people becoming leader reminded me of Princess Tony's attempts to stop Ken Livingstone becoming the Labour candidate for the London mayoral election. And we all know what happened then.

michael

Yes Daniel, The Conservatives elected Jeffrey Archer!!!

malcolm

I think Conservatives will think more carefully about who to elect as their leader than for a non job like Mayor.The fact that we couldn't get anyone better than Shagger Norris for the role last time shows how seriously Conservatives take that position.

michael

So what we're saying is that our panacea that is one member one vote has given us; Jeffrey Archer, Steve Norris and Duncan Smith? Hooray for Party democracy!

Sean Fear


So who would you have liked to see handpicked by the elite for these positions Michael? Come on, wow us!

malcolm

So what do you suggest Michael? The mayoral vote can be discounted because it didn't attract any high calibre candidates but because the members made the wrong choice (your opinion) in 2001 they should never be allowed to vote again?
I suggest you look at Lord Hodgsons very eloquent defence of party democracy and think hard about the effect taking that democracy away will have on the party activists and the electorate as a whole.

Selsdon Man

Steve Norris did well last time even though his campaign was not as good as his first attempt.

As far as his election as candidate is concerned, his competition lacked quality to put it politely. BTW, if Steve is to be known by his Shagger soubriquet, Andrew Boff's equivalent would offend our Editor.

malcolm

I think Norris wears his nickname with pride! As I remember his first campaign involved dissing the Conservative party at every oppurtunity and the 2nd revolved around his chairmanship of Jarvis. There was no serious discussion on the needs of London in either.
Sorry Selsdon,I don't know anything about Andrew Boff.

Daniel Vince-Archer

My point was that the Labour high command effectively manipulated the candidate selection process to secure the nomination for Frank Dobson and alienated Labour supporters, who preferred Ken Livingstone. If the Conservative leader selection process is conducted in the same manner, the Conservatives risk falling into the same trap.

michael

I thought the idea to give members a vote to put forward a raft of candidates from which MPs select a leader, was pretty sound. My concern is not so much that members made the wrong choice in 2001 but that their choice was at odds with the Parliamentary Party. To be fair to Duncan Smith, a leader can only be judged as the "wrong choice" after he has lost a General Election.

malcolm

I understand your point Daniel and entirely agree with it.I look forward to Michaels response to your point and others.

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