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And lacking a primary system, unless you scratch the right backs, you never get to positions where you get elected anyway.

Some parties are more internally democratic than others, but generally the party apparatus controls who can get on the "shortlist" that is presented to the membership for candidate selection. I think in the US the barriers to enter a party's primary are as low as simply having to change your partisan voter registration.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 04:23:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the big gotcha in UK politics. You can nominate whomever you like, but if Party HQ doesn't like them, they won't stand. And Party HQ always has the option of parachuting in an Obxridge drone if they want to promote one of their own for good behaviour.

Independents often stand and occasionally win. One of the best moments of the last election was watching the father of someone who died in Iraq laying into Blair in public on election night, because he'd stood as an independent in Blair's constituency and won a good proportion of the votes.

But generally it's the party machine that keeps things running, and parties are very definitely run top-down - to the extent that Westminster is almost irrelevant anyway.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 04:36:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I think in the US the barriers to enter a party's primary are as low as simply having to change your partisan voter registration.

Yes, compare Michael Bloomberg (mayor of New York, and this week's media fascination as he coyly denies that he's running for President). Since he couldn't win the mayoral primary in his own party (the Democrats), he registered Republican and won that way. (At least that's how Newsweek reports it.) This is not seen as unfair, just unusual; it's up to the primary voters to decide whether they accept it.

by Toby Bartels (toby+8190809933@ugcs.caltech.edu) on Wed Jun 27th, 2007 at 09:09:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cynthia Mc Kinney was allegedly unseated by the Republicans in 2002 by contesting the Democratic party primary, as the Republican candidate in her district has zero chance of getting elected.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 06:08:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Denise Majette was ever a Republican (but I could be wrong. Still, an African-American woman who's a Republican would be slightly unusual). Or are you saying the Republicans put up another candidate in the primary to take away votes from McKinney?

(And why I would know Majette's name of the top of my head remains a mystery even to me)

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 06:36:33 AM EST
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I'm saying enough Republicans voted in the Democratic primary to bring Majette over the top, instead of their own primary where they were going to be selecting an eventual loser. At least that's the allegation coming from McKinney.
McKinney protested the result in court, claiming that thousands of Republicans, knowing they had no realistic chance of defeating her in November, had participated in the Democratic primary to vote against McKinney in revenge for her anti-Bush administration views and allegations of possible voter fraud in Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election. Like 20 other states, Georgia operates an open primary: voters do not claim a political party when they register to vote, and may participate in whichever party's primary election they choose.


Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 06:45:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aah, I see what you're saying. That's perfectly possible.  

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 07:00:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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