The attempt in Scotland to push current Conservative MSP’s off the Party List could be highly significant. The current MSP’s are said to have become too ‘comfortable’ with their positions and are not representing the views of their voters. This is exactly the same as is happening in the EU not-a-parliament, where Conservative Europhiles predominate.
If the electorate has the power to ‘deselect’ all current Conservative MSP’s and replace them, then surely that right should be retained for MEP’s in the EU not-a-parliament as well.
Unfortunately Hague has threatened deselection to the eurosceptics like Helmer who don’t toe the EPP line, when most Conservatives would have preferred to deselect the europhiles, if anyone was going to deselected.
There is now a move by current europhile MEP’s to be allowed to automatically retain their position at the top of Party Lists without facing hustings and a vote.
Surely if Cameron is pushing a move towards Open Primaries for selection of MP’s, then moves towards automatic retention of incumbents on Party Lists is a move in the opposite direction. How can he insist on more openness and democracy for Westminster selections, but less for Brussels?
The developments in Scotland could unleash a new spirit of open democracy as regards Party Lists. Cameron has failed the EPP test, especially by allowing Hague to threaten eurosceptics like Helmer with deselection. If Cameron now keeps the current system of selecting MEP’s with an open vote, forcing all MEP’s including Roger Helmer to be selected democratically on every occasion, all could yet be forgiven.
The effects of a Scottish reselection of all Conservative MSP’s might provide a great precedent.