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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Leading Corbynista calls for Labour to introduce US-style prim

SystemSystem Posts: 6,666
edited February 5 in General

imagepoliticalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Leading Corbynista calls for Labour to introduce US-style primaries to select candidates

In a Tweet last night one of Labour’s most prominent and leading Corbyn backers, Aaron Bastani, called for what would be a radical change in the way the party selects candidates for Parliament and other elected offices. Instead of the current system which puts just about all the power with Trade Unions and members he wants US style primaries.

Read the full story here


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Comments

  • swing_voterswing_voter Posts: 476
    First like Boris J in any Tory leadership open primary (not that they'll hold one)..
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 17,400
    edited February 5
    If I were feeling cynical I would say that Bastani would settle for 50% of that proposal being adopted.

    The 50% being 'mandatory reselection...'

    (Amusingly autocorrect changed the last word to 'deselection.' My iPhone is clearly a follower of Freud!)
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 21,497
    This is just Bastani's latest less-than-subtle suggestion for how to get rid of non-Corbynite Labour MPs, without making it look like that's what he's actually calling for.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 17,400
    edited February 5
    Sandpit said:

    This is just Bastani's latest less-than-subtle suggestion for how to get rid of non-Corbynite Labour MPs, without making it look like that's what he's actually calling for.

    Silly suggestion though if that is his aim. Not hard to imagine that the likes of Abbott, Williamson Long-Bailey, Pidcock and Drew would struggle in open primaries. They seem to be industriously alienating their local parties by their behaviour.

    Even Corbyn might have some issues if the LibDems were sufficiently motivated and organised...er, maybe not!
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,918
    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.
  • Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 17,400
    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Bastani has a degree in politics and sociology (I believe) from RHUL and runs a fake news website.

    And yet you assume he is capable of logic, reasoning and self-awareness?
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 14,488
    Older pb-ers, like me, will recall the late Clement Freud (another whose reputation has, posthumously, taken a blow) becoming MP for what is now, more or less NE Cambridgeshire. He claimed that he turned up to an 'open' Liberal selection meeting at which the attendance was small, so the local Liberal party invited a number of residents of the OAP Home near the hall to make up the numbers. Freud claimed that all the Liberal members voted for his opponent, but all the pensioners voted for him, and so he became the candidate.
    He also said that as the Liberals had been third in previous elections Ladbrokes offered 33-1 on him winning. A regular gambler Freud put a considerable amount on himself and the winnings paid for support staff for his local office for some years!
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,918
    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Bastani has a degree in politics and sociology (I believe) from RHUL and runs a fake news website.

    And yet you assume he is capable of logic, reasoning and self-awareness?
    I'm just a very magnanimous person who likes to think the best of everyone. ;-)
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 17,400
    edited February 5

    Older pb-ers, like me, will recall the late Clement Freud (another whose reputation has, posthumously, taken a blow) becoming MP for what is now, more or less NE Cambridgeshire. He claimed that he turned up to an 'open' Liberal selection meeting at which the attendance was small, so the local Liberal party invited a number of residents of the OAP Home near the hall to make up the numbers. Freud claimed that all the Liberal members voted for his opponent, but all the pensioners voted for him, and so he became the candidate.
    He also said that as the Liberals had been third in previous elections Ladbrokes offered 33-1 on him winning. A regular gambler Freud put a considerable amount on himself and the winnings paid for support staff for his local office for some years!

    I think they were third in 1945, then failed to contest the seat from 1951-70 inclusive. That probably made the odds seem logical - however, as Justin never tires of reminding us, it probably meant there was a sizeable Liberal vote that had nowhere to go.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 22,677
    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Is Sarah Wollaston free thinking?

    She seems to have swallowed a mushy philosophy whole - that’s very different to someone who has a free thinking approach
  • With friends like the anus Bastani who needs enemies?

    Basic rule in left politics - if Bastani suggests something do the opposite
  • RogerRoger Posts: 10,822
    edited February 5
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    This is just Bastani's latest less-than-subtle suggestion for how to get rid of non-Corbynite Labour MPs, without making it look like that's what he's actually calling for.

    Silly suggestion though if that is his aim. Not hard to imagine that the likes of Abbott, Williamson Long-Bailey, Pidcock and Drew would struggle in open primaries. They seem to be industriously alienating their local parties by their behaviour.

    Even Corbyn might have some issues if the LibDems were sufficiently motivated and organised...er, maybe not!
    Long-Bailey Pidcock and Drew. In a head to head with Dewey Cheetham and Howe I'd give the Labour team the edge
  • philiphphiliph Posts: 3,305

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It all depends on the selection process to allow eligibility to enter the primary.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 17,400
    Roger said:

    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    This is just Bastani's latest less-than-subtle suggestion for how to get rid of non-Corbynite Labour MPs, without making it look like that's what he's actually calling for.

    Silly suggestion though if that is his aim. Not hard to imagine that the likes of Abbott, Williamson Long-Bailey, Pidcock and Drew would struggle in open primaries. They seem to be industriously alienating their local parties by their behaviour.

    Even Corbyn might have some issues if the LibDems were sufficiently motivated and organised...er, maybe not!
    Long-Bailey Pidcock and Drew. In a head to head with Dewey Cheetham and Howe I'd give the Labour team the edge
    Well, Labour of course also had the great Seymour Cocks.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,918

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It seems to be based on the Ocasio-Cortez model where a very unmoderate candidate removed a 10x Congressman who was pretty unexciting. She seems to have caught Corbyn's interest now that Chavez is slightly harder to have as a role model.

    In fact what I think we see in the US is that primaries generate more extreme candidates that appeal to the activists rather than the electorate where working across the aisle is an anathema and almost the only unforgivable sin.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 17,400
    edited February 5
    philiph said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It all depends on the selection process to allow eligibility to enter the primary.
    I think it also depends to an extent on the seat. For example, I can see a case for open primaries in Liverpool Walton or Chelsea and Fulham, because whoever is chosen by the incumbent party pretty much automatically becomes the MP. But is it a smart move in say, Newcastle under Lyme, Kensington or Canterbury where a dog-fight would probably just drag the whole electoral process out and turn all the voters into mini-Brendas?

    But on the whole I don't think they're a brilliant idea.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,918
    Charles said:

    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Is Sarah Wollaston free thinking?

    She seems to have swallowed a mushy philosophy whole - that’s very different to someone who has a free thinking approach
    Yet another example of my magnanimity. Perhaps unstructured thinking rather than "free".
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 12,057
    edited February 5
    For those not close to Labour, it may be helpful to say that the party is not tightly organised, and the current leadership has a pretty restricted circle of influencers. Groups like Momentum and Progress operate autonomously and with very little coordination - that why you get selections where national Momentum endorses X and local Momentum endorses Y. Corbyn in particular is uninterested in coordinating members to do anything in particular except support the party and submit ideas. So although Aaron is left-wing, this won't be a kite-flying exercise by the leadership - I imagine he's simply expressing his personal opinion.

    On the merits of the thing, I imagine he's envisaging a primary among party members (like the American states where you have to be a registered party supporter to take part). This is very like a normal selection, the difference being that he envisages it happening routinely in all seats. So the novelty in the proposal is that he would get rid of the deselection process, which is painful but also gives MPs a firewall against challenge, and make challenge a normal phenomenon. I think it would cause a lot of upset within the PLP and the leadership hasn't made any attempt to get even routinely dissident MPs deselected, so it won't happen.

    Or not happen now. If Corbyn formed a government and it was routinely frustrated by nominally Labour MPs voting down key proposals, I can imagine a new push to make deselection easier. But that's a potential discussion five years away.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 14,488
    ydoethur said:

    Older pb-ers, like me, will recall the late Clement Freud (another whose reputation has, posthumously, taken a blow) becoming MP for what is now, more or less NE Cambridgeshire. He claimed that he turned up to an 'open' Liberal selection meeting at which the attendance was small, so the local Liberal party invited a number of residents of the OAP Home near the hall to make up the numbers. Freud claimed that all the Liberal members voted for his opponent, but all the pensioners voted for him, and so he became the candidate.
    He also said that as the Liberals had been third in previous elections Ladbrokes offered 33-1 on him winning. A regular gambler Freud put a considerable amount on himself and the winnings paid for support staff for his local office for some years!

    I think they were third in 1945, then failed to contest the seat from 1951-70 inclusive. That probably made the odds seem logical - however, as Justin never tires of reminding us, it probably meant there was a sizeable Liberal vote that had nowhere to go.
    On that basis 33-1 wasn't over generous, was it?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 17,400
    DavidL said:

    Charles said:

    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Is Sarah Wollaston free thinking?

    She seems to have swallowed a mushy philosophy whole - that’s very different to someone who has a free thinking approach
    Yet another example of my magnanimity. Perhaps unstructured thinking rather than "free".
    'I wouldn't have said she was open minded on the Middle East, more empty headed. She probably thinks Sinai is the plural of sinus.'

    Who said that and about whom?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 17,400

    ydoethur said:

    Older pb-ers, like me, will recall the late Clement Freud (another whose reputation has, posthumously, taken a blow) becoming MP for what is now, more or less NE Cambridgeshire. He claimed that he turned up to an 'open' Liberal selection meeting at which the attendance was small, so the local Liberal party invited a number of residents of the OAP Home near the hall to make up the numbers. Freud claimed that all the Liberal members voted for his opponent, but all the pensioners voted for him, and so he became the candidate.
    He also said that as the Liberals had been third in previous elections Ladbrokes offered 33-1 on him winning. A regular gambler Freud put a considerable amount on himself and the winnings paid for support staff for his local office for some years!

    I think they were third in 1945, then failed to contest the seat from 1951-70 inclusive. That probably made the odds seem logical - however, as Justin never tires of reminding us, it probably meant there was a sizeable Liberal vote that had nowhere to go.
    On that basis 33-1 wasn't over generous, was it?
    Well, as I said, it seemed logical. My point was however that it wasn't based on particularly solid information because such information didn't exist.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,918
    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    Charles said:

    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Is Sarah Wollaston free thinking?

    She seems to have swallowed a mushy philosophy whole - that’s very different to someone who has a free thinking approach
    Yet another example of my magnanimity. Perhaps unstructured thinking rather than "free".
    'I wouldn't have said she was open minded on the Middle East, more empty headed. She probably thinks Sinai is the plural of sinus.'

    Who said that and about whom?
    Jonathan Aitken on Mrs T apparently. Not one that stuck in my memory tbh.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 17,400
    edited February 5
    DavidL said:

    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    Charles said:

    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Is Sarah Wollaston free thinking?

    She seems to have swallowed a mushy philosophy whole - that’s very different to someone who has a free thinking approach
    Yet another example of my magnanimity. Perhaps unstructured thinking rather than "free".
    'I wouldn't have said she was open minded on the Middle East, more empty headed. She probably thinks Sinai is the plural of sinus.'

    Who said that and about whom?
    Jonathan Aitken on Mrs T apparently. Not one that stuck in my memory tbh.
    Well, of course, many things Jonathan Aitken said and did allegedly didn't even stick in his memory.

    Not that the judge believed him.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 11,043
    As I pointed out on the previous thread, closed US style primaries are a completely different beast to what would likely be a contest with an activist selectorate over here.

    40% of US voters are registered Democrats. And, FWIW, AOC received over fifteen thousand votes in her successful primary contest.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,918

    For those not close to Labour, it may be helpful to say that the party is not tightly organised, and the current leadership has a pretty restricted circle of influencers. Groups like Momentum and Progress operate autonomously and with very little coordination - that why you get selections where national Momentum endorses X and local Momentum endorses Y. Corbyn in particular is uninterested in coordinating members to do anything in particular except support the party and submit ideas. So although Aaron is left-wing, this won't be a kite-flying exercise by the leadership - I imagine he's simply expressing his personal opinion.

    On the merits of the thing, I imagine he's envisaging a primary among party members (like the American states where you have to be a registered party supporter to take part). This is very like a normal selection, the difference being that he envisages it happening routinely in all seats. So the novelty in the proposal is that he would get rid of the deselection process, which is painful but also gives MPs a firewall against challenge, and make challenge a normal phenomenon. I think it would cause a lot of upset within the PLP and the leadership hasn't made any attempt to get even routinely dissident MPs deselected, so it won't happen.

    Or not happen now. If Corbyn formed a government and it was routinely frustrated by nominally Labour MPs voting down key proposals, I can imagine a new push to make deselection easier. But that's a potential discussion five years away.

    In summary there is no Corbynite master plan, there is merely blundering incompetence. You may well be right.
  • CD13CD13 Posts: 5,418
    edited February 5
    It won't happen but if it had been brought in a year or two again, it would give a nice symmetry. Leave constituencies would generally vote in Leave candidates and Remain constituencies Remain ones.

    Horrors! Populism on specific headline policies. Leave it to the cabal.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 7,813
    Charles said:

    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Is Sarah Wollaston free thinking?

    She seems to have swallowed a mushy philosophy whole - that’s very different to someone who has a free thinking approach
    She has done excellent work on the Health Select Committee. It is only in the wasteland of Tory Brexit politics, where nothing else matters, she has fallen foul of the dementors.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 11,043
    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    Charles said:

    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Is Sarah Wollaston free thinking?

    She seems to have swallowed a mushy philosophy whole - that’s very different to someone who has a free thinking approach
    Yet another example of my magnanimity. Perhaps unstructured thinking rather than "free".
    'I wouldn't have said she was open minded on the Middle East, more empty headed. She probably thinks Sinai is the plural of sinus.'

    Who said that and about whom?
    Jonathan Aitken on Mrs T apparently. Not one that stuck in my memory tbh.
    Well, of course, many things Jonathan Aitken said and did allegedly didn't even stick in his memory.

    Not that the judge believed him.
    And such de haut en bas is all very well, until you end up en bas yourself.

  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,664
    Charles said:

    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Is Sarah Wollaston free thinking?

    She seems to have swallowed a mushy philosophy whole - that’s very different to someone who has a free thinking approach
    Which philosophy is this? I quite like mushy.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,918

    Charles said:

    DavidL said:

    I would have thought from a party management point of view the selection of Sarah Wollaston is a perfect answer to the question of whether this is a good idea or not. And surely the last thing someone like Bastani wants is a bunch of free thinking, pretty much unwhippable MPs. He wants ciphers that will follow the leader unquestioningly.

    Is Sarah Wollaston free thinking?

    She seems to have swallowed a mushy philosophy whole - that’s very different to someone who has a free thinking approach
    Which philosophy is this? I quite like mushy.
    It's ok for peas. But it has limits.
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 24,125
    Aaron Bastani is behind the times. AOC has fallen out of favour overnight:

  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 24,125
    edited February 5
    Whatever the motivations, I like primaries. Anything that makes MPs less beholden to leaders and more beholden to the public seems like a good thing to me. Sarah Wollaston, like her or not, adds something to Parliament. More independent-minded MPs like her would be a good thing.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 7,813
    ydoethur said:

    philiph said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It all depends on the selection process to allow eligibility to enter the primary.
    I think it also depends to an extent on the seat. For example, I can see a case for open primaries in Liverpool Walton or Chelsea and Fulham, because whoever is chosen by the incumbent party pretty much automatically becomes the MP. But is it a smart move in say, Newcastle under Lyme, Kensington or Canterbury where a dog-fight would probably just drag the whole electoral process out and turn all the voters into mini-Brendas?

    But on the whole I don't think they're a brilliant idea.
    Of course, that is an argument for the Single Stochastic Vote system, possibly the only form better than AV.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 11,043
    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It seems to be based on the Ocasio-Cortez model where a very unmoderate candidate removed a 10x Congressman who was pretty unexciting. She seems to have caught Corbyn's interest now that Chavez is slightly harder to have as a role model.

    In fact what I think we see in the US is that primaries generate more extreme candidates that appeal to the activists rather than the electorate where working across the aisle is an anathema and almost the only unforgivable sin.
    I’m not sure that’s true at all.
    The other eleven candidates on the slate AOC was part of all failed. She won because she better represents her particular electorate, with which her Democratic establishment opponent had become entirely out of touch.

    A lesson which our major parties appear to have forgotten is that success depends o building a coalition of interests. That any one set of ideas represents a majority of the electorate is patently absurd.

  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 48,596
    Good morning, my fellow hated Mensheviks.

    Foggy today.
  • SquareRootSquareRoot Posts: 6,439
    edited February 5
    Every time I read the words "close to Corbyn" I think how poisonous...
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 7,902
    If you want to be part of the process for selecting Labour candidates then join the Labour Party.

    As Mike says opening up the selection takes away one of the benefits of membership.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,664

    Whatever the motivations, I like primaries. Anything that makes MPs less beholden to leaders and more beholden to the public seems like a good thing to me. Sarah Wollaston, like her or not, adds something to Parliament. More independent-minded MPs like her would be a good thing.

    Absolutely.
  • FregglesFreggles Posts: 3,093
    Are we sure Bastani means primaries that include voters and not just members?
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 24,918
    Nigelb said:

    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It seems to be based on the Ocasio-Cortez model where a very unmoderate candidate removed a 10x Congressman who was pretty unexciting. She seems to have caught Corbyn's interest now that Chavez is slightly harder to have as a role model.

    In fact what I think we see in the US is that primaries generate more extreme candidates that appeal to the activists rather than the electorate where working across the aisle is an anathema and almost the only unforgivable sin.
    I’m not sure that’s true at all.
    The other eleven candidates on the slate AOC was part of all failed. She won because she better represents her particular electorate, with which her Democratic establishment opponent had become entirely out of touch.

    A lesson which our major parties appear to have forgotten is that success depends o building a coalition of interests. That any one set of ideas represents a majority of the electorate is patently absurd.

    Primaries in safe seats mean that you don't have to appeal to a majority of the electorate, you have to appeal to the activists who will actually turn out. This means Democrats are trending left (where the threat usually comes from) and Republicans trend right (ditto). It has made US politics increasingly dysfunctional, 2 nations who really don't speak to each other but speak to their own cabals and echo chambers.

    The solution to this, in my opinion, is far fewer safe seats forcing parties to choose candidates who do appeal to those not in the party to get elected. With gerrymandering rife we get the exact opposite.

    The same applies here. The number one job of the Electoral Commission, in my view, should be to create more marginal seats.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 24,355

    Good morning, my fellow hated Mensheviks.

    Foggy today.

    But enough of your Last of the Summer Wine role-playing - how's the weather?
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 7,813

    Whatever the motivations, I like primaries. Anything that makes MPs less beholden to leaders and more beholden to the public seems like a good thing to me. Sarah Wollaston, like her or not, adds something to Parliament. More independent-minded MPs like her would be a good thing.

    I think that primaries restricted to registered supporters would favour local connections and work against parachuted SPADS from central office. A good thing in my view, and quite compatible with Corbyns vision of a membership driven party.
  • CD13CD13 Posts: 5,418
    I know I'm showing my ignorance, but who does choose the candidates? What special knowledge or ability do these people possess?

    As the guardians of what is allowed, how are they chosen?
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 19,136

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    Wollaston is an odd example.

    It's worth bearing in mind that Wollaston won her primary from memory as a sceptic. She was a rebel who voted for an EU referendum early on.

    She's since then transformed into an extremist second referendum Remainer who doesn't respect the outcome of the vote she campaigned to have called.

    It would be like having Tony Blair be first elected to Parliament on Michael Foot's manifesto. Oh wait ...
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 7,902
    Freggles said:

    Are we sure Bastani means primaries that include voters and not just members?

    If it was just members then it would be a selection meeting as we have now. If the proposal is making that a postal ballot rather than a meeting then I would support it as more members would be able to participate.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 16,806
    DavidL said:

    Nigelb said:

    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite his through.

    It han the electorate where working across the aisle is an anathema and almost the only unforgivable sin.
    I’m not sure that’s true at all.
    The other eleven candidates on the slate AOC was part of all failed. She won because she better represents her particular electorate, with which her Democratic establishment opponent had become entirely out of touch.

    A lesson which our major parties appear to have forgotten is that success depends o building a coalition of interests. That any one set of ideas represents a majority of the electorate is patently absurd.

    Primaries in safe seats mean that you don't have to appeal to a majority of the electorate, you have to appeal to the activists who will actually turn out. This means Democrats are trending left (where the threat usually comes from) and Republicans trend right (ditto). It has made US politics increasingly dysfunctional, 2 nations who really don't speak to each other but speak to their own cabals and echo chambers.

    The solution to this, in my opinion, is far fewer safe seats forcing parties to choose candidates who do appeal to those not in the party to get elected. With gerrymandering rife we get the exact opposite.

    The same applies here. The number one job of the Electoral Commission, in my view, should be to create more marginal seats.
    An interesting point, if one that would be difficult to apply in practice.

    Over the years the parties have become more and more interested in the boundary review process, not only making their own submissions but 'rounding up' sympathetic members of the public to make submissions in favour of the party proposal. Party proposals almost always aimed at protecting and enhancing the safe seats of as many of their representatives as possible. The Commission does its best, but with hardly genuinely neutral participation it is hardly surprising that the system has been pushed toward more and more safe seats.

    Interestingly, in north London for the last (probably doomed) review the Commission chose the area-wide submission from a member of the public (if one somewhat obsessed with boundary reviews) over those of all the political parties. And in the round it was a better proposal. But it is very rare for anyone to make such an effort.

    The Commission did at least get rid of the cross-examination element of the public hearings, which the big parties were using to hire top lawyers to twist and manipulate the process to their own ends.
  • notme2notme2 Posts: 834

    Whatever the motivations, I like primaries. Anything that makes MPs less beholden to leaders and more beholden to the public seems like a good thing to me. Sarah Wollaston, like her or not, adds something to Parliament. More independent-minded MPs like her would be a good thing.

    Rory Stewart was also selected on an open primary. All electors in the constituency allowed to attend a public meeting of a shortlist of candidates.
  • RecidivistRecidivist Posts: 3,664
    I don't know who this Bastani guy is, though the way he is being dismissed by some on here predisposes me in his favour. I think political parties are national assets and it is good for all of us if they are in good shape. The Labour Party seems to be full of good people and ideas, but they need to find a way of turning that into good MPs and a sound programme. This seems like a step in the right direction. The Conservatives need to attract some better members. Once they've done that they'll have much the same problem that Labour has of converting the energy of the committed into something that is of some use.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 14,488
    CD13 said:

    I know I'm showing my ignorance, but who does choose the candidates? What special knowledge or ability do these people possess?

    As the guardians of what is allowed, how are they chosen?

    I've been to a few, mainly in my days as a Liberal activist. The party officials interviewed, or sometimes just read the CV's of, several people who were on the Party's Approved List, and short-listed two or perhaps three. Then they called a meeting of all members and the potential candidates made a short speech and answered questions from those members who attended, after which there was a secret ballot.
    Many years ago, in my Labour days, I attended one where one potential candidate attended, carrying the recommendation of the local Executive. At some point we were asked to give him a standing ovation.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 24,355

    Freggles said:

    Are we sure Bastani means primaries that include voters and not just members?

    If it was just members then it would be a selection meeting as we have now. If the proposal is making that a postal ballot rather than a meeting then I would support it as more members would be able to participate.
    But why do I worry that postal vote harvesting might be something of a problem?
  • RogerRoger Posts: 10,822
    Arlene Foster is Ian Paisley reborn.

    What a piece of work.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 24,355
    Roger said:

    Arlene Foster is Ian Paisley reborn.

    Reincarnation must have been anathema to the Rev. Ian Paisley.

    Imagine if he'd come back as a Catholic?
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 24,355
    edited February 5

    CD13 said:

    I know I'm showing my ignorance, but who does choose the candidates? What special knowledge or ability do these people possess?

    As the guardians of what is allowed, how are they chosen?

    I've been to a few, mainly in my days as a Liberal activist. The party officials interviewed, or sometimes just read the CV's of, several people who were on the Party's Approved List, and short-listed two or perhaps three. Then they called a meeting of all members and the potential candidates made a short speech and answered questions from those members who attended, after which there was a secret ballot.
    Many years ago, in my Labour days, I attended one where one potential candidate attended, carrying the recommendation of the local Executive. At some point we were asked to give him a standing ovation.
    The first to sit down was takn out and shot?

    Those selection committees for Stalin must have been a bugger....
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 48,596
    edited February 5
    Hmm. Bit tempted by 1.9 to beat Scotland (with a -6 point handicap) on Ladbrokes.

    Edited extra bit: ahem. Ireland* to beat Scotland with a 6 point handicap. I'm not playing myself.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 24,355

    Hmm. Bit tempted by 1.9 to beat Scotland (with a -6 point handicap) on Ladbrokes.

    Edited extra bit: ahem. Ireland* to beat Scotland with a 6 point handicap. I'm not playing myself.

    Ireland are going to be smarting after that loss. I wouldn't want to play them next either!
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 10,601
    ydoethur said:

    Older pb-ers, like me, will recall the late Clement Freud (another whose reputation has, posthumously, taken a blow) becoming MP for what is now, more or less NE Cambridgeshire. He claimed that he turned up to an 'open' Liberal selection meeting at which the attendance was small, so the local Liberal party invited a number of residents of the OAP Home near the hall to make up the numbers. Freud claimed that all the Liberal members voted for his opponent, but all the pensioners voted for him, and so he became the candidate.
    He also said that as the Liberals had been third in previous elections Ladbrokes offered 33-1 on him winning. A regular gambler Freud put a considerable amount on himself and the winnings paid for support staff for his local office for some years!

    I think they were third in 1945, then failed to contest the seat from 1951-70 inclusive. That probably made the odds seem logical - however, as Justin never tires of reminding us, it probably meant there was a sizeable Liberal vote that had nowhere to go.
    More likely it was among the first demonstrations of the power of celebrity. Freud had been on telly for years, advertising dog food, and cooking. He was the forerunner, in that respect, of Boris in London and Arnie and Trump in America.
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,701
    edited February 5

    For those not close to Labour, it may be helpful to say that the party is not tightly organised, and the current leadership has a pretty restricted circle of influencers. Groups like Momentum and Progress operate autonomously and with very little coordination - that why you get selections where national Momentum endorses X and local Momentum endorses Y. Corbyn in particular is uninterested in coordinating members to do anything in particular except support the party and submit ideas. So although Aaron is left-wing, this won't be a kite-flying exercise by the leadership - I imagine he's simply expressing his personal opinion.

    On the merits of thhe thing, I imagine he's envisaging a primary among party members (like the American states where you have to be a registered party supporter to take part). This is very like a normal selection, the difference being that he envisages it happening routinely in all seats. So the novelty in the proposal is that he would get rid of the deselection process, which is painful but also gives MPs a firewall against challenge, and make challenge a normal phenomenon. I think it would cause a lot of upset within the PLP and the leadership hasn't made any attempt to get even routinely dissident MPs deselected, so it won't happen.

    Or not happen now. If Corbyn formed a government and it was routinely frustrated by nominally Labour MPs voting down key proposals, I can imagine a new push to make deselection easier. But that's a potential discussion five years away.

    “Nominally Labour MPs” refers to the SWP members in charge now? Because they seem to have consistently voted against a Labour government and would, I think, have blocked its key proposals if they could.

  • mattmatt Posts: 2,701
    Foxy said:

    Whatever the motivations, I like primaries. Anything that makes MPs less beholden to leaders and more beholden to the public seems like a good thing to me. Sarah Wollaston, like her or not, adds something to Parliament. More independent-minded MPs like her would be a good thing.

    I think that primaries restricted to registered supporters would favour local connections and work against parachuted SPADS from central office. A good thing in my view, and quite compatible with Corbyns vision of a membership driven party.
    If we want small minded, parochial and slightly dim MPs, the local connection MP is a good start. I prefer to look for better than that.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 10,601
    Open primaries have the attraction, and I suspect this is why the Conservatives tried them, of making those non-members who take part more likely to support the candidate at the subsequent election. Nudge theory, innit.
  • _Anazina__Anazina_ Posts: 1,249
    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It seems to be based on the Ocasio-Cortez model where a very unmoderate candidate removed a 10x Congressman who was pretty unexciting. She seems to have caught Corbyn's interest now that Chavez is slightly harder to have as a role model.

    In fact what I think we see in the US is that primaries generate more extreme candidates that appeal to the activists rather than the electorate where working across the aisle is an anathema and almost the only unforgivable sin.
    Cortez is hardly an extremist. Her policy positions would be well within the mainstream were she in Europe. That the US has a extreme rightwing position on healthcare puts it out of step, not her.

    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    But an extremist? No.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 21,497
    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 17,984

    I don't know who this Bastani guy is, though the way he is being dismissed by some on here predisposes me in his favour. I think political parties are national assets and it is good for all of us if they are in good shape. The Labour Party seems to be full of good people and ideas, but they need to find a way of turning that into good MPs and a sound programme. This seems like a step in the right direction. The Conservatives need to attract some better members. Once they've done that they'll have much the same problem that Labour has of converting the energy of the committed into something that is of some use.

    I come from the other direction in seeing political parties as, at best, a vaguely necessary evil but generally a corruption of politics which removes power from the electorate.

    Because I see it as a means of limiting that party power, I am strongly in favour of these sorts of open primaries. The idea was pushed by Hannan and Carswell in their book The Plan, which is all about decentralisation and increasing the democratic accountability of our politicians.
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,701
    _Anazina_ said:

    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It seems to be based on the Ocasio-Cortez model where a very unmoderate candidate removed a 10x Congressman who was pretty unexciting. She seems to have caught Corbyn's interest now that Chavez is slightly harder to have as a role model.

    In fact what I think we see in the US is that primaries generate more extreme candidates that appeal to the activists rather than the electorate where working across the aisle is an anathema and almost the only unforgivable sin.
    Cortez is hardly an extremist. Her policy positions would be well within the mainstream were she in Europe. That the US has a extreme rightwing position on healthcare puts it out of step, not her.

    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    But an extremist? No.
    She’s extreme in the US system, which is the point. That you think she is in the mainstream is a comment on you and your narrowness not on the political system in which she exists.
  • philiphphiliph Posts: 3,305
    edited February 5

    Whatever the motivations, I like primaries. Anything that makes MPs less beholden to leaders and more beholden to the public seems like a good thing to me. Sarah Wollaston, like her or not, adds something to Parliament. More independent-minded MPs like her would be a good thing.

    Absolutely.
    I agree too.

    If it is a means to make the MPs more independent of the overbearing party control as they are more beholden to the local primary electors, then that is a leap in the right direction.

    One of the main drivers of the increasing failure in UK politics has come as the power of the political party has increased.

    They (all four of the major parties, how quaint, I included the LibDems) need to have less power over the MPs we elect.

    The MPs are firstly the representatives of all the electors in the constituency they stood in, and secondly a member of the party under whose banner they stood.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 17,404
    Many sensible people were agitating for elected PCCs and when they arrived they were mocked relentlessly as being unrepresentative because the pesky voters refused to turn out. I'm not sure that primaries don't fall into the same category. A good idea, increasing democracy, but then who would bother to turn out?
  • _Anazina__Anazina_ Posts: 1,249

    Whatever the motivations, I like primaries. Anything that makes MPs less beholden to leaders and more beholden to the public seems like a good thing to me. Sarah Wollaston, like her or not, adds something to Parliament. More independent-minded MPs like her would be a good thing.


    Indeed. The fewer easily led, on-message, sheep in parliament, the better for us all.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 5,014
    Foxy said:

    Whatever the motivations, I like primaries. Anything that makes MPs less beholden to leaders and more beholden to the public seems like a good thing to me. Sarah Wollaston, like her or not, adds something to Parliament. More independent-minded MPs like her would be a good thing.

    I think that primaries restricted to registered supporters would favour local connections and work against parachuted SPADS from central office. A good thing in my view, and quite compatible with Corbyns vision of a membership driven party.
    I agree. Unfortunately the idea has become a bit toxic because it is seen through the pro/anti Corbyn lens. More regular primary contests would I think also be beneficial for membership numbers and hence financially to the party.
  • philiphphiliph Posts: 3,305
    edited February 5
    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    I assume he is expanding reality by a factor of 5 or 10?

    The concept of 'joining' Vince is one for deadwood.
  • _Anazina__Anazina_ Posts: 1,249

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    Wollaston is an odd example.

    It's worth bearing in mind that Wollaston won her primary from memory as a sceptic. She was a rebel who voted for an EU referendum early on.

    She's since then transformed into an extremist second referendum Remainer who doesn't respect the outcome of the vote she campaigned to have called.

    It would be like having Tony Blair be first elected to Parliament on Michael Foot's manifesto. Oh wait ...
    So now Dr Sarah Wollaston is an extremist.

    As someone once said...

    Only from the PB Tories.

    Only on PB.
  • SquareRootSquareRoot Posts: 6,439
    philiph said:

    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    I assume he is expanding reality by a factor of 5 or 10?

    The concept of 'joining' Vince is one for deadwood.
    Are they all going to apply to be on Strictly?
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 20,673
    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    Not convinced this will happen. Maybe one or two Labour people. Possibly one Tory.
  • _Anazina__Anazina_ Posts: 1,249
    matt said:

    _Anazina_ said:

    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It snip sin.
    Cortez is hardly an extremist. Her policy positions would be well within the mainstream were she in Europe. That the US has a extreme rightwing position on healthcare puts it out of step, not her.

    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    But an extremist? No.
    She’s extreme in the US system, which is the point. That you think she is in the mainstream is a comment on you and your narrowness not on the political system in which she exists.
    Erm no, not at all. The fact that I don’t consider her extreme means I am narrow? I suspect you might need to grab a coffee and rethink that one.
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 17,984
    _Anazina_ said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    Wollaston is an odd example.

    It's worth bearing in mind that Wollaston won her primary from memory as a sceptic. She was a rebel who voted for an EU referendum early on.

    She's since then transformed into an extremist second referendum Remainer who doesn't respect the outcome of the vote she campaigned to have called.

    It would be like having Tony Blair be first elected to Parliament on Michael Foot's manifesto. Oh wait ...
    So now Dr Sarah Wollaston is an extremist.

    As someone once said...

    Only from the PB Tories.

    Only on PB.
    I think Wollaston has behaved pretty dishonestly over the whole Brexit issue and obviously she is on the other side of the debate from me. But I would rather have her and others like her in Parliament any day than the self serving party yes men and women who seem to make up so much of our Parliamentary cadre.
  • mattmatt Posts: 2,701
    _Anazina_ said:

    matt said:

    _Anazina_ said:

    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It snip sin.
    Cortez is hardly an extremist. Her policy positions would be well within the mainstream were she in Europe. That the US has a extreme rightwing position on healthcare puts it out of step, not her.

    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    But an extremist? No.
    She’s extreme in the US system, which is the point. That you think she is in the mainstream is a comment on you and your narrowness not on the political system in which she exists.
    Erm no, not at all. The fact that I don’t consider her extreme means I am narrow? I suspect you might need to grab a coffee and rethink that one.
    Narrow because you are looking at “extreme” through your own British social and political lens and not the US political environment that you are commenting on. Which is the point of the comment about “extremists”.
  • _Anazina__Anazina_ Posts: 1,249
    F

    _Anazina_ said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    Wollaston is an odd example.

    It's worth bearing in mind that Wollaston won her primary from memory as a sceptic. She was a rebel who voted for an EU referendum early on.

    She's since then transformed into an extremist second referendum Remainer who doesn't respect the outcome of the vote she campaigned to have called.

    It would be like having Tony Blair be first elected to Parliament on Michael Foot's manifesto. Oh wait ...
    So now Dr Sarah Wollaston is an extremist.

    As someone once said...

    Only from the PB Tories.

    Only on PB.
    I think Wollaston has behaved pretty dishonestly over the whole Brexit issue and obviously she is on the other side of the debate from me. But I would rather have her and others like her in Parliament any day than the self serving party yes men and women who seem to make up so much of our Parliamentary cadre.
    Indeed. And in reference to your post above, I tend to agree. Political parties to me - and particularly whipping - are at best a necessary evil, and possibly an unnecessary one. I find a lot t of the partisan cheerleading on here hard to handle at times, for this reason.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 21,497
    edited February 5

    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    Not convinced this will happen. Maybe one or two Labour people. Possibly one Tory.
    Agreed, can't see more than a handful in total. The tribal instinct is strong within the parties and most defectors probably face losing their seats at the next election, which is something of a high bar to cross for most MPs. The only recently successful defection was Douglas Carswell, and even he eventually succumbed to losing his seat to his old party.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 14,488
    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    Wouldn't that become the Third Party in Parliament and therefore give Vince, or whoever led it, a lot of speaking opportunities which currently go to the SNP?
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 12,057

    CD13 said:

    I know I'm showing my ignorance, but who does choose the candidates? What special knowledge or ability do these people possess?

    As the guardians of what is allowed, how are they chosen?

    I've been to a few, mainly in my days as a Liberal activist. The party officials interviewed, or sometimes just read the CV's of, several people who were on the Party's Approved List, and short-listed two or perhaps three. Then they called a meeting of all members and the potential candidates made a short speech and answered questions from those members who attended, after which there was a secret ballot.
    Many years ago, in my Labour days, I attended one where one potential candidate attended, carrying the recommendation of the local Executive. At some point we were asked to give him a standing ovation.
    In my experience the Executive plays less of a role nowadays. All the candidates have their CVs circulated at branch meetings, and the branches decide who sounds interesting and they'd like to invite. Anyone they already know has a better chance basically because they want to be nice to them, but total outsiders have a shot if their CVs stand out - I'd never been to Broxtowe, or even Nottingham, before I was invited to two branches.

    When branches have nominated, the Exec steps in and short-lists. If a couple of branches or a branch and some unions nominate you, you'll almost certainly be short-listed - there are occasional exceptions and they always cause a huge row. After, you and the others are invited to an all-member selection - each in turn gives a speech and answers questions, and then there's a secret ballot - usually only of those who turn up and hear the speeches, but sometimes with postal votes.

    It's a fairly good system, which gives an edge to local people but still gives a chance to talented outsiders. The main debate is over whether the process should happen every time (as Bastani implies) or only if the party formally votes to deselect you (which is very, very rare). The former would give more power to whatever line of thought is currently dominant, the latter risks having dozy MPs sitting on safe seats forever. The answer is perhaps to make it a bit easier to force a vote, but not automatic.
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 17,984
    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    Not convinced this will happen. Maybe one or two Labour people. Possibly one Tory.
    Agreed, can't see more than a handful in total. The tribal instinct is strong within the parties and most defectors probably face losing their seats at the next election, which is something of a high bar to cross for most MPs. The only recently successful defection was Douglas Carswell, and even he eventually succumbed to losing his seat to his old party.
    No he didn't. He stood down at the 2017 election and didn't fight his seat. It is extremely doubtful he would have lost it if he had stood again.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 20,673
    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    Not convinced this will happen. Maybe one or two Labour people. Possibly one Tory.
    Agreed, can't see more than a handful in total. The tribal instinct is strong within the parties and most defectors probably face losing their seats at the next election, which is something of a high bar to cross for most MPs. The only recently successful defection was Douglas Carswell, and even he eventually succumbed to losing his seat to his old party.
    What might happen is as various Lab MPs are deselected they will jump and join a centrist band.

    But even that might be only a handful. Chris Leslie, Chukka, Gapes?

    I am assuming that Labour's high command will try and hold off deselections until as near to GE as possible.
  • _Anazina__Anazina_ Posts: 1,249
    matt said:

    _Anazina_ said:

    matt said:

    _Anazina_ said:

    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It snip sin.
    Cortez is hardly an extremist. Her policy positions would be well within the mainstream were she in Europe. That the US has a extreme rightwing position on healthcare puts it out of step, not her.

    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    But an extremist? No.
    She’s extreme in the US system, which is the point. That you think she is in the mainstream is a comment on you and your narrowness not on the political system in which she exists.
    Erm no, not at all. The fact that I don’t consider her extreme means I am narrow? I suspect you might need to grab a coffee and rethink that one.
    Narrow because you are looking at “extreme” through your own British social and political lens and not the US political environment that you are commenting on. Which is the point of the comment about “extremists”.
    Nope. You are talking utter nonsense. Seven in 10 Americans suppprt single payer healthcare. Hardly an extremist position.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/08/28/most-americans-now-support-medicare-for-all-and-free-college-tuition.html
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 21,497

    I don't know who this Bastani guy is, though the way he is being dismissed by some on here predisposes me in his favour. I think political parties are national assets and it is good for all of us if they are in good shape. The Labour Party seems to be full of good people and ideas, but they need to find a way of turning that into good MPs and a sound programme. This seems like a step in the right direction. The Conservatives need to attract some better members. Once they've done that they'll have much the same problem that Labour has of converting the energy of the committed into something that is of some use.

    I come from the other direction in seeing political parties as, at best, a vaguely necessary evil but generally a corruption of politics which removes power from the electorate.

    Because I see it as a means of limiting that party power, I am strongly in favour of these sorts of open primaries. The idea was pushed by Hannan and Carswell in their book The Plan, which is all about decentralisation and increasing the democratic accountability of our politicians.
    That's a very good book, full of sensible ideas to make politicians more accountable to the people, and a powerful argument for decisions to be delegated as far down the political chain towards the people as possible.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 48,596
    King Cole, how many MPs do the SNP have now? 30 odd?
  • MikeSmithsonMikeSmithson Posts: 5,040

    King Cole, how many MPs do the SNP have now? 30 odd?

    35
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 21,497

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    Not convinced this will happen. Maybe one or two Labour people. Possibly one Tory.
    Agreed, can't see more than a handful in total. The tribal instinct is strong within the parties and most defectors probably face losing their seats at the next election, which is something of a high bar to cross for most MPs. The only recently successful defection was Douglas Carswell, and even he eventually succumbed to losing his seat to his old party.
    No he didn't. He stood down at the 2017 election and didn't fight his seat. It is extremely doubtful he would have lost it if he had stood again.
    Crap. You're right, he stood down in '17.
    Multitasking fail while walking through a large crowd on phone!
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 3,242
    _Anazina_ said:



    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    AOC has the social media game on lock. This is important for a candidate now but it will soon be the most important attribute by far.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 14,488

    CD13 said:

    I know I'm showing my ignorance, but who does choose the candidates? What special knowledge or ability do these people possess?

    As the guardians of what is allowed, how are they chosen?

    I've been to a few, mainly in my days as a Liberal activist. The party officials interviewed, or sometimes just read the CV's of, several people who were on the Party's Approved List, and short-listed two or perhaps three. Then they called a meeting of all members and the potential candidates made a short speech and answered questions from those members who attended, after which there was a secret ballot.
    Many years ago, in my Labour days, I attended one where one potential candidate attended, carrying the recommendation of the local Executive. At some point we were asked to give him a standing ovation.
    In my experience the Executive plays less of a role nowadays. All the candidates have their CVs circulated at branch meetings, and the branches decide who sounds interesting and they'd like to invite. Anyone they already know has a better chance basically because they want to be nice to them, but total outsiders have a shot if their CVs stand out - I'd never been to Broxtowe, or even Nottingham, before I was invited to two branches.

    When branches have nominated, the Exec steps in and short-lists. If a couple of branches or a branch and some unions nominate you, you'll almost certainly be short-listed - there are occasional exceptions and they always cause a huge row. After, you and the others are invited to an all-member selection - each in turn gives a speech and answers questions, and then there's a secret ballot - usually only of those who turn up and hear the speeches, but sometimes with postal votes.

    It's a fairly good system, which gives an edge to local people but still gives a chance to talented outsiders. The main debate is over whether the process should happen every time (as Bastani implies) or only if the party formally votes to deselect you (which is very, very rare). The former would give more power to whatever line of thought is currently dominant, the latter risks having dozy MPs sitting on safe seats forever. The answer is perhaps to make it a bit easier to force a vote, but not automatic.
    Sounds fair.The difficulty is that to have any sort of voice, you have to be a member of the party. It's arguable at least that non-member supporters should have a voice, but if they are that committed, why don't they join. One can be a Party member and find excuses for doing sod-all except voting!
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 48,596
    Mr. Smithson, cheers.

    So, King Cole is right. If, and it's a significant 'if', 25 Lab and Con MPs jumped ship to the... what colour do you get if you mix red, blue, and yellow? Well, by numbers it'd be mostly red, so that'd be orange plus blue... dark green?

    Anyway, it would be the third biggest party.

    Of course, if every apparently dissatisfied Labour MP split, it'd be the official Opposition.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 14,488

    King Cole, how many MPs do the SNP have now? 30 odd?

    35
    20 rebel Tories, 5 rebel Labour, 11 Lib Dems, plus presumably Stephen Lloyd again gives 37.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 21,497

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    Not convinced this will happen. Maybe one or two Labour people. Possibly one Tory.
    Agreed, can't see more than a handful in total. The tribal instinct is strong within the parties and most defectors probably face losing their seats at the next election, which is something of a high bar to cross for most MPs. The only recently successful defection was Douglas Carswell, and even he eventually succumbed to losing his seat to his old party.
    What might happen is as various Lab MPs are deselected they will jump and join a centrist band.

    But even that might be only a handful. Chris Leslie, Chukka, Gapes?

    I am assuming that Labour's high command will try and hold off deselections until as near to GE as possible.
    Yes that's possible, but anyone who defects *after* they've been deselected is almost certainly just trying to find a plausible way to stand at the next election and get their three months' severance pay.
  • _Anazina__Anazina_ Posts: 1,249
    Dura_Ace said:

    _Anazina_ said:



    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    AOC has the social media game on lock. This is important for a candidate now but it will soon be the most important attribute by far.
    Indeed. No wonder she terrifies the gammon right. Yet her policy positions are European social democratic. She is hardly Lenin with lipstick!
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 14,488
    _Anazina_ said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    _Anazina_ said:



    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    AOC has the social media game on lock. This is important for a candidate now but it will soon be the most important attribute by far.
    Indeed. No wonder she terrifies the gammon right. Yet her policy positions are European social democratic. She is hardly Lenin with lipstick!
    She is hardly Lenin with lipstick!

    That your own phrase? Congrats if so. Brilliant.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 11,043
    DavidL said:

    Nigelb said:

    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It seems to be based on the Ocasio-Cortez model where a very unmoderate candidate removed a 10x Congressman who was pretty unexciting. She seems to have caught Corbyn's interest now that Chavez is slightly harder to have as a role model.

    In fact what I think we see in the US is that primaries generate more extreme candidates that appeal to the activists rather than the electorate where working across the aisle is an anathema and almost the only unforgivable sin.
    I’m not sure that’s true at all.
    The other eleven candidates on the slate AOC was part of all failed. She won because she better represents her particular electorate, with which her Democratic establishment opponent had become entirely out of touch.

    A lesson which our major parties appear to have forgotten is that success depends o building a coalition of interests. That any one set of ideas represents a majority of the electorate is patently absurd.

    Primaries in safe seats mean that you don't have to appeal to a majority of the electorate, you have to appeal to the activists who will actually turn out. This means Democrats are trending left (where the threat usually comes from) and Republicans trend right (ditto). It has made US politics increasingly dysfunctional, 2 nations who really don't speak to each other but speak to their own cabals and echo chambers.

    The solution to this, in my opinion, is far fewer safe seats forcing parties to choose candidates who do appeal to those not in the party to get elected. With gerrymandering rife we get the exact opposite.

    The same applies here. The number one job of the Electoral Commission, in my view, should be to create more marginal seats.
    Except that AOC manifestly does appeal to a majority of her electorate.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 20,673
    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Talking of deselections, Uncle Vince reckons he's got up to 20 Labour MPs and five Conservatives preparing to resign from their parties and join him in an "Informal Alliance" over the next few months....
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6667941/Twenty-Labour-MPs-five-Tories-form-new-centrist-group-Liberal-Democrat-leader-claims.html

    Not convinced this will happen. Maybe one or two Labour people. Possibly one Tory.
    Agreed, can't see more than a handful in total. The tribal instinct is strong within the parties and most defectors probably face losing their seats at the next election, which is something of a high bar to cross for most MPs. The only recently successful defection was Douglas Carswell, and even he eventually succumbed to losing his seat to his old party.
    What might happen is as various Lab MPs are deselected they will jump and join a centrist band.

    But even that might be only a handful. Chris Leslie, Chukka, Gapes?

    I am assuming that Labour's high command will try and hold off deselections until as near to GE as possible.
    Yes that's possible, but anyone who defects *after* they've been deselected is almost certainly just trying to find a plausible way to stand at the next election and get their three months' severance pay.
    Could be enough to cost Jezza a majority. Given the tightness in polls, every win/hold will count massively.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 5,014


    It's a fairly good system, which gives an edge to local people but still gives a chance to talented outsiders. The main debate is over whether the process should happen every time (as Bastani implies) or only if the party formally votes to deselect you (which is very, very rare). The former would give more power to whatever line of thought is currently dominant, the latter risks having dozy MPs sitting on safe seats forever. The answer is perhaps to make it a bit easier to force a vote, but not automatic.

    My understanding is that at present, to deselect an MP you need a majority of branches to vote against the MP, just to have a selection contest. This can give unions a lot of power, I think its theoretically possible to have a candidate rejected by all membership branches, but still not subject to a selection ballot.

    That seems mental to me. I'd like a simple system whereby if say 25% of members request a selection vote a contest is triggered.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/theconversation.com/amp/labour-deselection-and-reselection-rules-explained-102938
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 11,043
    _Anazina_ said:

    matt said:

    _Anazina_ said:

    matt said:

    _Anazina_ said:

    DavidL said:

    Even someone totally uninterested in Tory politics should have picked up that Sarah Wollaston is more moderate than the rest of her party, and is quite rebellious on some issues. It's hard to see why primaries would have a different result for Labour - relatively moderate MPs who are less willing to toe the leadership's line. Primaries also produce a strong pro-incumbent bias as many of the voters haven't heard of the challenger. I don't think Aaron has thought this through.

    It snip sin.
    Cortez is hardly an extremist. Her policy positions would be well within the mainstream were she in Europe. That the US has a extreme rightwing position on healthcare puts it out of step, not her.

    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    But an extremist? No.
    She’s extreme in the US system, which is the point. That you think she is in the mainstream is a comment on you and your narrowness not on the political system in which she exists.
    Erm no, not at all. The fact that I don’t consider her extreme means I am narrow? I suspect you might need to grab a coffee and rethink that one.
    Narrow because you are looking at “extreme” through your own British social and political lens and not the US political environment that you are commenting on. Which is the point of the comment about “extremists”.
    Nope. You are talking utter nonsense. Seven in 10 Americans suppprt single payer healthcare. Hardly an extremist position.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/08/28/most-americans-now-support-medicare-for-all-and-free-college-tuition.html
    Though it's not quite so simple as that. The percentage drops considerably when it's pointed out that might/would mean losing their existing insurance (though there is still fairly broad support).
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 11,043

    CD13 said:

    I know I'm showing my ignorance, but who does choose the candidates? What special knowledge or ability do these people possess?

    As the guardians of what is allowed, how are they chosen?

    I've been to a few, mainly in my days as a Liberal activist. The party officials interviewed, or sometimes just read the CV's of, several people who were on the Party's Approved List, and short-listed two or perhaps three. Then they called a meeting of all members and the potential candidates made a short speech and answered questions from those members who attended, after which there was a secret ballot.
    Many years ago, in my Labour days, I attended one where one potential candidate attended, carrying the recommendation of the local Executive. At some point we were asked to give him a standing ovation.
    In my experience the Executive plays less of a role nowadays. All the candidates have their CVs circulated at branch meetings, and the branches decide who sounds interesting and they'd like to invite. Anyone they already know has a better chance basically because they want to be nice to them, but total outsiders have a shot if their CVs stand out - I'd never been to Broxtowe, or even Nottingham, before I was invited to two branches.

    When branches have nominated, the Exec steps in and short-lists. If a couple of branches or a branch and some unions nominate you, you'll almost certainly be short-listed - there are occasional exceptions and they always cause a huge row. After, you and the others are invited to an all-member selection - each in turn gives a speech and answers questions, and then there's a secret ballot - usually only of those who turn up and hear the speeches, but sometimes with postal votes.

    It's a fairly good system, which gives an edge to local people but still gives a chance to talented outsiders. The main debate is over whether the process should happen every time (as Bastani implies) or only if the party formally votes to deselect you (which is very, very rare). The former would give more power to whatever line of thought is currently dominant, the latter risks having dozy MPs sitting on safe seats forever. The answer is perhaps to make it a bit easier to force a vote, but not automatic.
    So if you're correct about what "Bastani implies", it bears little or no relation to the primary system in the US ?
  • _Anazina__Anazina_ Posts: 1,249

    _Anazina_ said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    _Anazina_ said:



    The reason she draws such opprobrium from the right is that she is a good communicator who gets social media and (I have to write this because it’s part of her appeal, not because I think it should matter) very pretty and lots of fun.

    AOC has the social media game on lock. This is important for a candidate now but it will soon be the most important attribute by far.
    Indeed. No wonder she terrifies the gammon right. Yet her policy positions are European social democratic. She is hardly Lenin with lipstick!
    She is hardly Lenin with lipstick!

    That your own phrase? Congrats if so. Brilliant.
    Ha, just came to me.
This discussion has been closed.