Monday, August 17, 2009

Political Gang Warfare On The Public Revisited

The always thoughtful John Harris has a piece in today's 'Guardian' on how the adoption of primaries will only mean the further advance of plutocracy. It's hard to disagree with him.
Like proportional representation, which is nothing but gang warfare perpetrated by the parties on the public, primaries sound like a great idea; but they only exist to find the most electable candidate for the party, not the best candidate to serve the people.
Take the parties out of the equation, and they become redundant. They are just another mechanism by which the parties can keep going on life-support.


Blogger Martin Meenagh said...

I think we disagree, but not so much on this my friend. I'd like primaries--but with hard limits placed on spending. I'm no fan of parties.

17 August, 2009 23:02  
Blogger Martin said...


As I say, they sound good. They sound and feel and look democratic.

But there is absolutely no point in having primaries when the bright and shiny GP's and country solicitors get tossed into a Commons still run by the whips for the parties. Under such an oppressive and anti-democratic system, Pharoah and all his adjournment debates and all his guillotine motions will still prevail.

Define irony - the Bitish think they have a democracy because they vote for candidates to a Parliament who, when they get there, are ordered how to vote. Does not compute. Come back GK Chesterton, to try to make sense of it all.

18 August, 2009 06:54  
Blogger Martin Meenagh said...

well, there's another layer to the irony, isn't there? Fewer than twenty-two per cent of those with votes elected the present government, just over thirty-five per cent of those who bothered to vote. how is that democratic, even given the nonsense of the whips.

Whips surely depend on the importance of local party control of nominations, though I could be corrected; perhaps primaries would create the pernicious 'pork for my area' mentality. The way we write laws, with one bill and no irrelevant amendments, may help there...

I can't just despair though!

18 August, 2009 11:03  

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