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Macclesfield Tory primary continued

October 18th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized by

Without wanting to (too) harshly stereotype, perhaps this photo of the Macclesfield primary goes some way to explaining why outcomes seem fairly similar to those observed following simple votes among local Tory panels.


3 Responses to “Macclesfield Tory primary continued”

  1. Philip Walker Says:

    They probably reflect the composition of the people who will actually vote at the next election pretty well!

    The problem is a disengagement by “young people” (I’m under 30) with the formal processes of politics. I’m in favour of open primaries because they will make the selection panel more like the voting electorate, but I don’t think they can, of themselves, deal with Britain’s endemic political apathy.

  2. Bunny Smedley Says:

    It would be interesting to learn what proportion of the people who show up to open primaries are Conservative party members, what proportion are members of other parties, what proportion are members of no party but otherwise politically active (e.g. within a special interest group of some sort), and what proportion are ‘non political’.

    The Bracknell primary is one of the best documented to date. Its most surprising feature may well be the fact that it lasted from 2 pm until (from what I have seen) after 6.30 pm – four and a half hours – on a Saturday afternoon.

    What sort of person is going to spend four and half hours listening to seven candidates answer the same set of questions, plus a few extra speeches? Here are some hints – not anyone with young children, not anyone who is a carer for someone ill or disabled, not anyone with a busy weekday job who has to do shopping etc on the weekend, not anyone who works on the weekend, not anyone with major interests (sport, spending time with family members, you name it.

    Perhaps my young friend Julian can see why, other than some sort of natural decrepitude associated with conservatism per se, sprightly, modestly well-to-do and public-spirited old folk might have the edge here?

    In other words, until the primaries are somehow ‘open’ all day, until 10 pm, requiring only a few minutes for participation, allowing postal or electronic votes as well, they really aren’t going to look or indeed act much like the real electorate, whatever democracy-enthusiasts might wish to the contrary.

  3. Julian H Says:

    Indeed, there’s most likely something in this. Also, I think older people tend to be more attracted to local politics per se and, bluntly, more prone to NIMBYism – or at least more prepared to enact NIMBYism, whereas younger people just moan. I believe Philip Booth wrote something about the elderly being the most successful modern day interest group.