Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wake up Jeremy

Just been watching Jeremy Paxman looking stunned when Douglas Carswell started talking about 'open primaries' on Newsnight. He seemed to think this would be some revolutionary way of choosing candidates in Britain. He seemed to think 'open primaries' are something confined to the US. Well, Jeremy, plenty of the current Conservative candidates were selected by just such a system. I was. When Montgomeryshire set out to select her Parliamentary candidate two years ago, invitations went out to everyone who had a vote in Montgomeryshire to attend - and vote. Two meetings were held, one in the East and one in the West of the large constituency. There were members of other political parties present. Probably the biggest selection audience that Montgomeryshire has ever seen. Hard to understand why Douglas didn't inform Jeremy of how radical the Conservative Party has been.


Anonymous said...

Not that I have any axe to grind, but it would seem somewhat risky to have open primaries for Tory candidates - for the selection could be swamped by rival party members who could pick the worst possible candidate. Fortunately that didn't happen in Montgomeryshire, but if morw widely publicised - the risk grows. Perhaps it would be an idea if ALL major parties HAD to have open primaries, but the true open primary is the general election itself.

Bonetired said...

And now commented upon on his blog :-)

Glyn Davies said...

Roman - Agreed. The local Association in Montgomeryshire was concerned because it was a new process. But as it turned out everyone who came was genuinely interested. What did happen is that anyone wanting to participate in the open primary had to notify the office beforehand and produce proof of being a voter. This would have given warning of any large scale attempt to disrupt things.