March 31, 2008 1 Comment
I’m not referring to the Zimbabwean elections, but the election for MEP candidates for the Conservative Party. Never before have I seen such an arse covering undemocratic election.
Let’s start at the beginning. Currently we have a majority of MEP’s whose view on Europe is largely at odds with the membership. A quick perusal of those guilty of this shows that many of these are MP retreads who were kicked out of the UK Parliament in 97. They then found sanctury in Europe a couple of years later, and it is questionable what they are actually achieving out there. Whatever it is, it’s certainly what the membership and indeed the country wants with a step back from federalism. Their determination to remain in the federalist European Peoples Party shows that.
Realising they are out of tune with the membership, it would appear some of our MEP’s lobbied the Party to remove members from voting to rank them within the whole list, but instead rank the sitting MEP’s so they are guaranteed their place and don’t have to face the membership. This is the sort of election system Mugabe would dream of. No accountability and no risk of losing your seat of power.Â Â
The other unfair factor in this election is the fact that after incumbents, the next place is guaranteed to a women no matter how far they placed behind the highest ranked men. Another self explanatory unfairness, which has rendered this selection process virtually impossible for a man to get into the European Parliament next year no matter how talented. Indeed it’s surprised any man applied given how the odds are so stacked against them.
The Party has done this for short term benefit. No European arguments and more women. However in the longer term, it may well live to regret this. There are many well qualified men who would have added some real talent to our MEP delegation, and would have been far more in tune with the direction of the party. They have effectively no chance of election. We also have kept in place a lot of MEP’s who rather enjoy the status quo in Europe and have no wish for reform or change. While they may keep their head down and say nothing of the EPP withdrawal proposal at the moment, once set free for a 5 year term, they will be very difficult to control and may well prove an obstacle to us when in Government when we step away from the federalist programme some of them appear to endorse.