Monday, November 24, 2008

By-election candidate selection continued...

My blog entry late on Saturday evening has attracted some interest, and in particular, two anonymous comments. Funny, isn't it, how the anonymous commenter supports the notion that Local Parties can't be trusted... However, I will respond to their comments thus;

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"I'd have thought there was a much better reason for not having a local party person on the panel: it's not a selection committee. Its job is to assess the ability of a candidate to cope with a by-election. Issues of local knowledge are for other parts of the process."

Actually, it is a selection committee. The By-election Panel merely carries out the shortlisting role otherwise carried out by the Selection Committee in a normal PPC selection. The process might be more intensive (although there is theoretically nothing stopping an 'ordinary' selection committee from being so rigorous), but it is fundamentally the same. And, one of the key criteria to be tested by the By-election Panel is the ability to represent the constituency in question. So, issues of local knowledge are for that part of the process.


Anonymous said...

This has been a useful 2 part discussion; having read both blog postings.

I know how much byelections can affect seats for good or ill, largely down to the candidate and of course the result.

Would it be possible for conference to consider an amendment to this section of the LD constitution (if that is where the rules about byelections are?)to simply include a sitting PPC where one has already been selected and perhaps also the PPC at the previous election too?

In an ideal world if there is an established PPC (some candidates have been known to fight the same seat 4 or more times on the trot!) or a newly selected one when a bylection arises; this person ought to be allowed to get to say the interview stage of the byelection selection process, even if it becomes quite clear then that they should not be the candidate in a very intensive byelection campaign.

You menionted Leicester South and I certainly know of others in recent years where we have caused much bitterness by excluding good candidates too early which can cause them to leave the local party which in the long run, (especially if we fail to win the seat) is very bad news.

On a separate point, we also leave ourselves open to media criticism when we might select a very good candidate who is from an entirely different region to the seat in question (as in Henley and Crewe?).

I accept this is always going to be difficult as byelections can get very nasty, are very hard work over sometimes very brief campaigns and are so different to general election campaigns, but the status quo cannot continue as far as Im concerned.

Martin said...

The most interesting element in all this bureaucratic nonsense, your consortship, is that many of the same people conducting the programme of emasculation for local parties then parade around without conscience asking why our membership is declining so badly. It's time someone in this party woke up and smelt the coffee. Our by election strategy has never impressed me and here is another proof of it's ability to cause as many problems as it solves.