Post by Alex W. Post by Malcolm McMahon
For Anti-Corbyn MPs, Muddling Through Is No Longer Viable The
Guardian - September 3, 2018 --
I thought the Labour party would be in big trouble as soon as they
changed to rules so that activists rather than MPs elected the
Naturally, Labour activists are way to the left of the electorate
generally. When MPs chose a leader, they'll look for someone who they
consider electable. When activists chose they'll chose someone close
to _their_ position. So they'll chose someone well to the left of the
median position of the electorate (which is where the votes are).
Which, incidentally, goes a long way to explaining why American politics
is so predisposed to polarisation. In order to gain the nomination as
candidate, politicians have to be purer and more orthodox than the pope.
Many then find it hard to regain the moderate middle ground.
Didn't Britain's Trades Union Congress hold an effective veto
over who the Labour party put forward, as late as the late 1970s,
too similar effect?
US political parties do not have the ability to expel members or
groups of members, as Labour did the mid-20th century "Militant
tendency." State election law in Louisiana allowed Klansman
David Duke to run as a nominal Republican, while Bernie Sanders,
a social democrat elected independently in Vermont could have
captured the Democratic Presidential nomination. The fear is that
restoring the right to control its own membership might allow
a party to exclude groups not due to ideology, but on the basis
of race, ethnicity, religion, etc.
As an ally, if no longer a dues-paying member of an ideological,
party, I would rather the state butt out of questions of who can
and can't be an official member. Primary elections where the
state, not the party members or their elected officers, decides
who gets to participate in choosing candidates make mass parties
like the Republicans and Democrats quasi-state entities. The
same could happen to the Libertarians or the Greens if they
became sufficiently popular. There have been cases in New York
state, where cross-endorsement by multiple parties is allowed,
of "minor parties" that declined to run a candidate for an office
having their ballot line "hijacked" by non-members.
We don't have the deposit system, so the cost for the "fake Green"
or "fake Conservative" can be just whatever expenses are involved
in recruiting volunteers to collect signatures, or, where allowed,
paying signature collectors. There might be legal fees involved
in defending the result in court.