Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Changes to candidate selection?

Last week it was announced that the selection process for the Tory London Mayoral candidate would likely be held through the use of Open Primaries. The principle here is that to get the electorate re-engaged, political parties should allow voters to register as supporters of a particular party like the system in the US, thereby providing them with a say in the process that selects their candidate for a particular position (in this case the Tory candidate for London Mayor).

Today, Francis Maude announced that this system may very well be expanded outward to the selection process for Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPC) as well. This would remove the flaws in the current system which Sir Humphrey Appleby observed that: "MPs are not chosen by 'the people' - they are chosen by their local constituency parties: thirty-five men in grubby raincoats or thirty-five women in silly hats."

Anything that attempts to address the voter apathy and disengagement is surely a good thing. There are of course concerns about potential abuse by other parties hijacking a primary, however, if the system were in place for all parties this wouldn't likely be as serious a problem.

Daily Telegraph

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