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British Labor Party: internal democracy « Previous | |Next »
September 25, 2010

I prefer the way the British Labour Party selects its leaders. Unlike the Australian Labor party's preference for knives and number crunchers the British Labour Party has a long tradition of internal democracy. Its leaders are chosen through a long drawn out process involving an electoral college but it is not based on one person one vote.

Those who can vote are Labour members of the House of Commons and the European Parliament, Individual members of the party and individual members of affiliated organisations, such as trade unions and socialist societies with each electorate or section contributing one third of the total votes. The candidate with the lowest vote will be eliminated and their voters redistributed until one candidate secures 50% of the vote in the electoral college.

The divided British Labour Party has come to a cross roads. Martin Kettle puts it this way in The Guardian:

Labour therefore faces a very big choice. It can either define itself for its core vote – as the party of the unionised working class, the poor and their middle-class allies – and delineate a philosophy of redistributive social democracy, which it believes will protect the core vote and the middle-class allies will be willing to support. Or it can define itself as a majoritarian party committed to social justice that recognises it will have to moderate aspects of those core values to become and remain the natural home of voters who do not fully share them – even in government.

An MP's vote is worth around 600 times the vote of an ordinary member. That is not one person one vote.

At least the two Milibands are the leading contenders of the five candidates battling for the Labour leadership ---David Milinand has been the frontrunner, but the new leader is likely to be Ed Miliband---- don't think that Coca-Cola or the City can save the planet.

Will they break from New Labour's 1990s preference for a light touch regulation in the private sector, the internal market in public services and a wanton disregard for personal liberty? Will the Blair-Brown era,with its fascination with making lots of money, be put behind? Will British Labour rediscover its social democratic roots in liberty and equality?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:22 PM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

The UK badly needs someone with stature and experience to steer it into a bright future, Millband has neither. Going towards the left is not going to keep the people who make the country's wealth happy. Anyone with good business sense will move away to other places and with taxes depleted where are the benefits.
The UK is in a big hole made by the yanks greed and Blair's blindness to be Bush's lapdog. I am afraid the future for the UK is not bright and nobody seems to care.

Considering the Labour Party won 1 million votes from the tories, but lost over 3 million voters who just didn't vote, or voted for the lib-dems or greens.