Friday, August 08, 2008

Lessons in democracy for Conservative Central Office

A few months ago, I noted that a debate was taking place on Conservative Home regarding what appeared to be a rather shambolic, and remarkably undemocratic looking selection process for the Conservative regional lists for Europe. I wasn't gloating, as I was a democracy activist before I joined the Party, and those who know me will know how committed I am to due process and transparency.

My remarks were quite well-received amongst the ranks of Conservative Home activists - I was quite open about who I was, after all - and I've kept an occasional eye on the fallout ever since. Thus far, if there has been any response, it's been fairly low key.

I am in the midst of a process of revising our list for South East England and, as a contrast, here's an explanation of where we're at, by way of comparison...

Having balloted the entire membership within the Region, without protection for the incumbents, we selected a list of ten using STV. Having now suffered a withdrawal, rather than reballot, we will re-run the count, redistributing Murari Kaushik's preferences. Three of the four runners-up have indicated that they would like to be included, so we'll also have to redistribute the preferences for him too.

In fairness to the candidates already selected, we will ensure that no candidate can be placed lower down the list than they are currently. The recount will take place electronically on Monday under the supervision of David Allworthy, the Party's Head of Compliance and Constitutional Affairs.

I'll let you have the result as soon as I can...

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