There was an interesting letter to the Sunday Telegraph citing Gisella Stuart complaining that, " in the June MEP elections voters will have a ballot paper which does not allow them to choose any candidate but instead presents them with a list bearing the labels of national political parties"
The writer goes on to say "this is because the Labour Government (unlike most of its continental counterparts) insisted on 1999 on such a closed list system so that it could effectively control which Labour politicians could be elected to the European Assembly". This system of course gives total control to the party machine and is profoundly undemocratic as Ms Stuart pointed out. It is a system open to manipulation and abuse and as we have seen in other areas if a system can be mis-used then there are those who will not hesitate do so without qualm or conscience.
I did not know that in some other countries electors vote for individual candidates as I believe we did in the 94 in a first past the post European election. UKIP presumably got no MEPs in 94 but the results would transfer more directly to UK Parliamentary elections where we have to win to get out of the EU. I would be grateful for any further information on these points. Please put comments on this blog.
Gisella Stuart is of course a Labour MP but she did vote and speak for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty against her party whips. We in UKIP do not have that freedom as my experience shows. Speaking and writing to newspapers in support of all core UKIP policies and posting clips on YouTube emphasising this support is insufficient. Disagreement with the leadership style is verboten and leads to deselection, expulsion and character assasination.
I watched Alec Salmond, the Scottish Nationalist leader, on the Andrew Marr show. It was a masterclass on how to handle a potentially difficult interview, bad opinion polls etc. Alec answered every question properly unlike the juvenile Cabinet Minister Douglas Alexander who was also on. Douglas Alexander is in charge of Labour's Westminster election campaign so no problem there then for Alec S.