Monday, April 23, 2007

The Selection of Euro MPs

I have just had this from CCHQ on the Board's decision of the selection of Euro MPs.
The Board of the Conservative Party has reached a decision in principle on
the method for selection of candidates for the European Parliament for the 2009
election. Sitting MEPs who have been re-selected following a procedure
similar to that laid down in the Party’s constitution for Westminster MPs will
be placed in ranking order by party members in a postal ballot. Members
will also be asked to place additional candidates in ranking order. In the
wholly exceptional circumstances that there will be no sitting MEPs who are
women seeking re-election, and for this selection process only, the top position
in each region below any reselected sitting MEPs will be occupied by the woman
candidate who gets the most votes in the postal ballot. Detailed arrangements
will be developed in the coming weeks.

At first sight this was as clear as mud to a simple mind like mine, but if it means what I think it means, then it is a partial victory for those who have been up in arms about the process. The Board's aim has been to try to reflect the Westminster reselection process as far as possible. What I don't particularly like is that a regional panel will decide upon reselection, but this is mitigated by the fact that Europhile MEPs will have to agree to support the Party's stance of pulling out of the EPP.

The National European Forum wanted the panel to then rank the sitting MEPs. The Board overturned this proposal, so party members will now have two ranking votes - one for incumbents and the second for new candidates. This widens democracy and takes power away from the few dozen people who ever bothered to attend regional hustings.

I do not like the proposal for women to be given the top ranking position on any new candidate list. Many good men will now not even bother to apply in some region. Why bother putting yourself through a process in which the oucome is already predetermined. In many areas there may only be one winnable position available.

All in all this is a compromise. The details are yet to be set in stone. But the question now is: is it a compromise with which both Eurosceptics and Europhiles can live?
It seems that sitting MEPS will have to submit themselves to a regional selection conference, then each party member may rank them and any new applicants in any order they

Why any self respecting male would want to put themselves through this process is beyond me - not that I can see any attraction in being a Euro MP anyway. But, more importantly, if I understand this correctly it means that any sitting MEP is automatically reselected. This is not the same as the Westminster system at all,

27 comments:

Laurence Boyce said...

Why any self respecting male would want to put themselves through this process is beyond me.

That’s what I think whenever I witness a Morris Dance.

chatterbox said...

"All in all this is a compromise. The details are yet to be set in stone. But the question now is: is it a compromise with which both Eurosceptics and Europhiles can live?"
Well if we are a democratic party then it should be acceptable to all.

verity said...

This is wrong, wrong, wrong. Not only will qualified, motivated men not apply in some seats, leaving the electorate with second and third best to choose from, but Dave is denying the electorate the democratic right to choose the best candidate for its local needs.

Dave is an authoritarian very much in the Blair mould.

Dave either doesn't trust the electorate to choose a woman if there is a more qualified man available, and nor should he, because why should they?

He constantly occupies himself with fancy little marketing tricks instead of trying to understand the big picture. The British public don't give a monkey crap who represents them as long as it is an intelligent, motivated person who will work hard for them. Dave can safely leave them to be the best judge of their own best interests.

Dave is fighting a none-battle under the childish impression that it makes him look "inclusive". He is employing Labour tricks from 10 years ago. He's a has-been in his own time.

It started slowly, but my hatred for Dave has built up a head of steam so he is now running neck-and neck with Blair.

Anonymous said...

"In the
wholly exceptional circumstances that there will be no sitting MEPs who are
women seeking re-election, and for this selection process only, the top position
in each region below any reselected sitting MEPs will be occupied by the woman
candidate who gets the most votes in the postal ballot."

Iain, I think you may have misunderstood this part of the press release. To me this suggests that ONLY in the event of there being no female sitting MEP available for reselection, the SINGLE top woman will move straight to the top of all region lists (below incumbent MEPs). In practice this ensures that there should always be at least one female MEP, but has no further repercussions. To me, this seems a very small sacrifice to gender discrimination, and one which is probably, on balance, justified.

Anonymous said...

It's all irrelevant: any sensible "eurosceptic" should be voting UKIP.

Chad said...

Don't tell me Iain, what issue is it this time that you oppose but are going to go along with anyway?

Oh yes, positive discrimination.

Add that to all the others. Fight for *cough* reform from within and all that.

What was it Greg Dyke said, something about the future not being about any difference in policies, just delivery.

The LibLabCon-sensus future's here already...

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I can see the attraction in being a Euro MP. They pay you oodles of dosh, mega expenses and a gold- plated pension. Also, since you are quite powerless to intervene in the vast bureacracy which makes all the decisions you can just swank around and look big, only pausing from time to time to crucify any whistle-blower who has the temerity to mention the fact that the accounts are in an unspeakable mess.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

laurence boyce [7.15 PM] Don't knock morris dancing. It's great.

Chris Paul said...

Ha ha "Wholly exceptional circumstances" Ha ha ha

In the "normal" circumstances where there is a woman seeking re-selection there is NO concession to equality at all.

So, suppose there are three men and a woman in a delegation and they are ranked MMMW then the rest can be men.

If they are MMM then the first in the second part of the list must be W.

In either of these two cases the W is most likely to lose on a swing against and certainly by no means certain to get a seat in the latter case.

This is crap actually. For women candidates and for the electorate who are very often better represented by women than by smug stuffed shirt gravy trainers.

Labour's system isn't great. We didn't get to re-rank the sitters last time. But at least there is a "zip" whereby the lists are balanced for M/F.

Anonymous said...

Who sends out the ballot papers and who deals with the count.
One group will like these plans-UKIP!
Another Dykeup if ever there was one!!!

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. I wonder what six-figure sum Dale is getting paid by the Torygraph

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=1336

Anonymous said...

this is a message, no, a plea, to Chris Paul, whoever you are. Can you please just post your crap on your own blog. Those people that are sad enough to want to read it can do so, without your self-serving bollocks being inflicted on the rest of us.

Just because 'Comment Is Free' has a 30-minute restriction between posts doesn't mean we want to see your premature ejaculations on this blog.

Anoneumouse said...

DIMocracy

no longer anonymous said...

"not that I can see any attraction in being a Euro MP anyway"

Money?

verity said...

Dave is such a silly little fidget. He has obviously never held an important job. He is acting like someone on their first job - coming up with all these naive, counter-productive, little ideas.

Anonymous said...

I see no compromise at all. This is a resigning issue.

mike clarke said...

I certainly shall be voting UKIP in the Euro elections in 2009 now, and before anyone says that UKIP will not get the EU reformed, I'm not interested in reforming the EU; I want out. Better Off Out!

verity said...

It is becoming increasingly clear that other people did the creative thinking and planning at Carlton and that Dave's job was to lunch.

Anonymous said...

"Better Off Out!"

I have been advocating this as a policy for some time, however I do not think there is a country willing to take them all at short notice!

Anonymous said...

Why any self respecting male would want to put themselves through this process is beyond me.

Being an MEP is women's work. The essential attributes are garrulity, 'empathy' and compromise. Ambitious Tory women should be gently steered in the direction of the European oubliette while we menfolk set about defending British independence (as usual).

verity said...

Anonymous 10:44 - I resent that post! Compromise is for wimps.

Praguetory said...

How can anyone be happy about reducing the field of talent? This is a crucial moment, but these proposals make me feel very gloomy about the prospects for the new "reform" grouping. I don't think I could have designed more damaging proposals if I worked for the Labour party.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

"Positive Descrimination" is a nonsense. All descrimination is bad. The lack of women in politics is not excuse to be sexist. People should be chosen on merit not for any other reason.

Alan said...

It really is irritating how some people feel the need to relate every concern they have about the party back to a character flaw in Cameron - it does make whatever argument they're trying to make seem exceeding childish...

That aside, this leaves the South West in a rubbish position. With one sitting MEP, they will automatically top the party list - irrespective of how invisible they've been in some parts of their patch. We will then have a choice for the best woman to fill the second place and the best person to fill third (or 2nd best)...

If Caroline Jackson doesn't stand down (unlikely though that is), this system would mean that she was automatically placed above any new candidate on the party list - no matter how competent and loyal they are in comparison...

verity said...

Dave's a PR man. He is not chief executive material. Everything he has done is PR flim-flam. Sound-bites (so passé, by the way).

Complain that a privately-owned company that is in no way, by any stretch, his business is selling chocolate oranges at its cash register. If he feels that he has the commercial experience and high moral ground to lecture private business, why doesn't he go to a halal butcher in Bradford and give him a telling off for the disgusting way in which they kill living creatures?

"Hug a hoodie". I'll let that one drop with a dull thud.

The A-list. Women-only lists.

Things to do:

1. "Stop climate change."

2. Sack Patrick Mercer, for a trumped up reason, by mobile phone because I am too cowardly to try to reprimand a military man with his record in person.

3. Get wind turbine for roof.

Oh, shut up! [Puts fingers in ears and stamps feet] "I can't heeeeaaar you!"

There is no substance to this preening creep. Bring on a real man with substance and political nous - David Davis!

the chocolate orange inspector said...

Funny Parliamentary Sketch, featuring Dave, by Anne Trenneman.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article1695814.ece

David Lindsay said...

Why not make sitting and putative MEPs take their chances equally in a ballot of the entire regional electorate? We could vote for one candidate, and the requisite number would be declared selected at the end, in order of the number of votes received.

The same thing should be done, on a constituency basis, for the shortlist of two potential parliamentary candidates, and, on a national basis, for the shortlist of two potential Leaders, with the latter taking place, like the former, in every Parliament a matter of routine.

Once one party had adopted this, then the others would have to follow suit.