Friday, May 18, 2007

A Democratic Essential

This argument to say that Labour MPs' nominations for the Leader of the Party should have been kept secret, is dangerous.

It is, of course, essential that the electorate should have a secret ballot when voting for MPs and others. But how can we ever hold those we elect to account if we are not given a record of how they vote and act on our behalf, whether this is done in a parliamentary or a related setting ?

The problem which "Labour Home" raises could, of course, have been dealt with if the names of the MPs concerned had only been published at the close of the nominations. But our chance to check upon who did what is a must.


Chris Paul said...

We may wish to know. But the fact the future boss will know is an obvious constraint on a free vote. They shouldn't be the only ones allowed to nominate. CLPs and TUs should be able to. And 20 MPs is quite enough.

Harry Barnes said...

Chris Paul,
I am all for CLP's and TU's having nominating rights, whilst there is a smaller threshold for MPs. But by the close of nominations we should all know who has nominated whom. We should not have MP's, CLP's and TU's whose public actions are kept secret. And we can't know without the candidates finding out.

susan press said...

Harry, I sent that post and that's what I meant. The internet posting of nominations It utterly trashed John's chances of persuading MPs when you could see from the running totals almost immediately that the brown juggernaut was in full flood. His team had no room to manoevre or persuade.Of course, they would have published the nominations afterwards.

Harry Barnes said...


But if they had not posted running totals of nominations and John had still fallen short, would you not have said that he failed because they never gave people access to what was going on. It is a deeper problem than the nature of the nominating procedure.