Tag Archives: open primaries

Vince talks to Voice Part 1: Open primaries

Twenty minutes after Vince finished speaking yesterday, I was sitting in a room with him,  his wife Rachel Smith eating delicious egg sandwiches.

We only had a few minutes to chat, but we covered a fair bit of ground.

I did the geeky party hack thing and started by asking him about his ideas for the party. I mean, he was talking about open primaries, wasn’t he, when he said this?

Our sister Liberal Party in Canada, under Justin Trudeau, leapt from third to first in a ‘first past the post’ system every bit as unforgiving as ours.

I have turned to them for advice on modernisation on how we can apply their successful model here.

The Canadian liberals engaged all their registered supporters – their voters – as well as their members in leadership elections and candidate selection.

They became a new party; a movement.

Building on our own traditions, we must address how we in the Liberal Democrats can become a movement for those who are alienated by the Conservatives and Labour.

He reckons it’s worth a try to connect with more people:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Opinion: The Lib Dems should make open primaries a coalition demand

82813332_89f5e4ceb0_zThe Liberal Democrats are likely to make proportional representation for local government elections a red line in 2015 coalition negotiations. Needless to say, for any liberal this is a thoroughly good and idea that will transform local government. Given neither party is likely to budge on national PR, it is a good way to implement radical reforms which might actually be accepted by either of the other main parties.

Posted in Op-eds | 28 Comments

Government scraps plan to fund primaries for Westminster candidate selections

Michael Crick has the scoop about the ending of plans to fund open primaries:

A very senior Cabinet minister has told me that the Coalition has now scrapped its radical plans to pay for primary elections to choose party candidates in 200 safe seats.

The full Coalition Agreement last May said: “We will fund 200 all-postal primaries over this Parliament, targetted at seats which have not changed hands for many years.”

The money would have been allocated to parties which now have seats in Parliament, according to their shares of the vote in May 2010.

Primaries have been very controversial, so the need …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Opinion: Forget open primaries, and go for STV instead

During the debate on MPs’ expenses at the Lib Dem conference recently, one of the speakers, Michael Meadowcroft, suggested that instead of having open primaries as a way of restoring trust in the political process, why not use the Single Transferable Vote (STV) instead?

STV has been the preferred voting system of the Liberal party and Liberal Democrats for many decades, and was championed by the greatest liberal of all, John Stuart Mill, in the nineteenth century. This week Gordon Brown announced that Labour, if re-elected, would propose a referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV) system, in which instead of marking your ballot paper with an X, you write down your preferences by rank, 1, 2, 3, etc …

The problem with AV is that you are still only electing one person per constituency.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 17 Comments
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    Well that cheered me up no end as we approach Christmas. As fracking enthusiasts might say, 'The earth certainly moved for me'. It's just the...
  • User AvatarMeher Oliaji 12th Dec - 6:42pm
    Thank you Joseph Bourke for reminding us that the question will be determined by the Electoral Commission, and that it will need to be free...
  • User AvatarGlenn 12th Dec - 6:34pm
    The question will be decided by the sitting government and main opposition parties. Not by pressure from a hard-core of Remainers trying to overturn both...
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    'The PM's deal or stay in the EU on the current terms', that's my simple, binary choice. But should it be advisory, like the first...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 12th Dec - 6:03pm
    it's a good question. The government has the privilege of drafting a referendum question and the electoral commision the responsibility of deciding if the question...
  • User AvatarDavid Davis 12th Dec - 5:56pm
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