For everyone interested in the work of Britain's Parliament; the US Congress; the European Parliament and the French Parlement.
Discuss Practice, Procedure, History and current issues.
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Who will be Leader?
Ballot papers are due to be despatched today to Labour Party members - to choose a new leader for the party. There are many different views about who would be the best person for the job. What will members be considering when they make their choice? I suggest that - even if not outwardly expressed - members are weighing up the following questions -
Which candidate is most likely to enhance the Electoral success of the party?
That is likely to include considerations of the personality of the leader - but what are the most important characteristics? likeability? toughness? ability to get on with colleagues?
A second issue is the perceived effectiveness of each candidate as a campaigner. This has featured in much recent comment. Who is most likely to attract the largest vote at a General Election? A member's view of this will be affected by their own views as to the best strategy to win the next election - whether boosting the core vote or reaching to a wider audience will translate into most seats won.
Which Policies being offered are the most attractive?
A key question here is which will be the greatest influence - policy positions shared with the members voting? or the perception of the attractiveness to potential voters? How far will members be prepared to weigh their own preferences againgst "electability". Underlying that decision will be members beliefs about what motivates voters towards (or against) giving their support to the party. Some argue that a more 'robust' socialist policy will attract current non-voters, whilst other believe that more centrist positions gain greater votes.
Who has (or has the potential to develop) the greatest Leadership skills?
which of course begs the question - what do we want from a leader.
What are your view? I'm happy to pass on comments and observations explaining why attributes of particular candidates are attracting your support. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a tutor for the Open University and have practical experience of working in the UK and European Parliaments.
Until May 2010 I worked at Westminster as Political Secretary to Lord Bach and to Lord Hunt of King's Heath. Previously I had worked as Research and Policy Director in the Office of Sir Peter Soulsby MP. In 2001 and 2005 I stood for Parliament in the South Leicestershire Constituency of Blaby. In 2009 I was a candidate for the European Parliament in the East Midlands Region.
I have a keen academic and practical interest in the workings of both the UK Parliament and the US Congress. I have made a number of study visits to Washington DC - and monitor proceedings, procedure and practice in the four chambers [House of Commons, House of Lords, House of Representative and the Senate]
Over the years I have broadcast on both UK & US Politics for BBC local radio including Radio Northampton; BBC Three Counties and BBC Radio Oxford.