Thursday, 29 May 2008

Conspiracy, gerrymandering, and democracy

The editor of Barn seems to be rather exercised about the locations selected for Plaid's hustings to select our European candidates, although Ordovicius takes a rather more relaxed view. Some have even suggested that this is some form of gerrymandering by the south to ensure that a particular candidate is selected.

I suppose that it’s always good to be talked about, but in this case, those raising the issue seem not to understand the background. The party’s NEC, which I chair for my sins, has actually discussed this matter twice, and the final decision was taken unanimously by the committee. That committee includes representatives from all parts of Wales - including the areas where one or two individuals seem to be unhappy – and the decision was taken after everyone had time and opportunity to input their views.

Our selection process is probably the most open and democratic of any of the parties, but there is always a balance between the costs and organisation involved in holding large numbers of meetings and the need to invvolve as many members as possible. And I won't argue that we always get it right.

But, the decision that we took was simply that we should hold the hustings based on the Assembly Electoral Regions – one meeting each in the three smaller regions, and two meetings each in the two larger regions. Of course, any decision is always open to criticism, and members will have their own opinions as to whether it’s the right decision or not, or even the right basis for taking the decision. But conspiracy and gerrymandering? Absolutely not.

3 comments:

Valleys Mam said...

The venues do seem strange to me too, why not do four SE SW NE NW in accessible places,and make arrangements for people to have access if the cannot travel via video links, etc. I know lots of local Venues that have that facility.
Use the technology Or why not just have a postal vote, most people in Plaid know who's who any way.
Sad to upset so many members in Dwyfor Meirion.

John Dixon said...

Valleys Mam,

As I said, thre is always scope for debate and disagreement about the way we choose to do these things. As it happens, we've effectively decided to hold one meeting for roughly every eight constituencies in Glamorgan/ Gwent, and one for roughly every four in the rest of Wales, where the geography is more dispersed.

However, my main point was neither to argue for nor against the decision which we have taken democratically. I was seeking, rather, to defend myself and other senior Plaid officials from the scurrilous suggestion that we would undemocratically rig a selection process to favour one candidate. I was disappointed that any member of the party would air such a suggestion in the first place.

Valleys Mam said...

Sorry John - I kinda missed the point -
I was seeking, rather, to defend myself and other senior Plaid officials from the scurrilous suggestion that we would undemocratically rig a selection process to favour one candidate. I was disappointed that any member of the party would air such a suggestion in the first place.
I think that the reason that people who think ill of good peopleis that they cannot trust themselves.
You always get gripers,that nothing satifies, best ignored