A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Primary Prats

I seem to remember posting a while ago about what a stupid idea primary elections are - i.e. the extremists amongst your own party's supporters get to pick a candidate they love who then gets rejected by the wider electorate.

Our cousins across the pond in the Democrats proved the point yesterday by rejecting former VP candidate and 3 term senate veteran Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Senate Primary http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5255452.stm

So ... you lose 2 presidential elections by narrow margins because you run liberal candidates who don't appeal to anyone outside the US equivalent of N16 ... then you start gearing up for the next one by purging the few senior politicians you have whose views on foreign and security policy actually accord with middle America.

Good luck guys, I am sure the next Democratic Presidential bid will do at least as well as McGovern's or Mondale's did.


Blogger John said...

The thing that seems silliest to me about it is the way each faction spends millions slagging off the other candidates, right in front of the swing voters and opposition. So when they do choose one, they've got to backpedal on why that candidate isn't actually quite so crap after all.

10:31 am, August 09, 2006

Blogger kris said...

I wouldn't shed too many tears for Joe Leiberman. Whereas he is the type of democrat that may go down well in nebraska, the left wing "intelligensia" of the NYC suburb of Connecticut are probably fed up with his active support of the war.

All politics, in the states at any rate, are local. You're right, you don't get party-line guys from the Party descending on the locals- getting experience before they work their way up the greasy pole- say like you might in Hackney for example.

I am sure the good people of Ct will elect someone who represents their views- troube for you, he might not represent yours.

12:11 pm, August 09, 2006

Blogger kris said...

"Good luck guys, I am sure the next Democratic Presidential bid will do at least as well as McGovern's or Mondale's did".

Luke, Americans don't tend to wait years to cast their vote for any supposed heir apparent. Al Gore, John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are yesterday's men. Are you suggesting that Joe had a hope in hell of being elected president?! Get real!

Clinton, was a state governor rather than senator and emerged from nowhere. Americans distrust "washington insiders" and want an average guy to keep the pork-barrel piss takers in check. That's was George Bush Jr got in. (Well, he got in where it count with the electoral college system).

The next guy won't be Hillary- it will be someone that you and I probably haven't even heard of- Yet.

12:29 pm, August 09, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

No I wasn't suggesting Lieberman was a potential runner. More that him losing indicates general leftwards move in Ds which is electorally suicidal. The only way they will win in 2008 is with a southern moderate - Mark Warner or John Edwards perhaps? seeing as only D wins in last 40 years have been with Presidential candidates from Texas, Georgia and Arkansas.

12:43 pm, August 09, 2006

Blogger kris said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:18 pm, August 09, 2006

Blogger kris said...

My bet is that Sen Chuck Hagel, Republican Anti-Bush war from nebraska will be the next US president.

As happening here, the left out righting the right and vice versa.

3:20 pm, August 09, 2006

Blogger daraka kenric said...


Do you even read American opinion polls, newspapers or scholarly analysis, or do you simply take hard-line Blairism and force it to fit another country's political reality?

The vast majority of Democrats, and a growing majority of Americans are opposed to Bush's foriegn policy. Nobody can deny that. That's why Lieberman lost. People want an opposition party.

Lamont's victory does not portend a general move to the left by the party. As John Kerry would say, "Would that it were." -Read- Lamont's platform, or the endorsement from the New York Times. He's a wealthy centrist. He's just anti-war. That's what won it for him.

Anyway, how great has the move to the "center" been for Democrats?

-Lost control of both houses of Congress.
-Lost two presidential elections.
-Lost 25 governorships and 20 state legislatures.

Not an auspicious record for Clintonian triangulatory politics.

1:57 am, August 10, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Daraka, my perspective is that triangulation worked - Blair and Clinton won every national election either of them stood in. The alternative strategy of winding up your core vote was tried by Kerry and he lost because it created a more powerful winding up of the Republican core vote.

PS good to hear from you, I see you have moved from Chicago to the West Coast. Are you still in DSA?

9:52 am, August 10, 2006

Blogger El Tom said...

'Daraka, my perspective is that triangulation worked - Blair and Clinton won every national election either of them stood in. The alternative strategy of winding up your core vote was tried by Kerry and he lost because it created a more powerful winding up of the Republican core vote.'

That might measure if they won, but we must look at what they actually achieve. If you triangulate to far you get nowt done.

I always thought Primaries were a silly idea because I'd just register as a Tory and turn up to vote for John Redwood as party leader. some of them you don't even have to register!

It would be funny if we all went along to dodgy dave's london mayor primary. we should have a campaign!

12:45 pm, August 10, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Tom, you ask what they acheived, Both acheived a great deal: Clinton according to the BBC "The largest budget surplus in history, the lowest unemployment rate in more than 40 years, the fastest growth in real wages for more than two decades, and the biggest drop in welfare rolls seen during any administration." Blair, from the Labour website: " Britain now has the lowest inflation for thirty years and the lowest mortgage rates for forty years - saving homeowners an average of £3,700 a year compared to the Tory years. We have the longest period of sustained growth for 200 years.
• The number of people in work is at a record level, up by over 2 million since 1997.
• Over 1.5 million working people are better off thanks to the National Minimum Wage.
• Hospital waiting lists in England are at their lowest since 1987.
• In the NHS there are 19,300 more doctors and over 77,500 more nurses working with modern equipment, giving faster access to more people, all free at the point of need.
• Standards are up across the board including the best ever primary school results. More teachers are in our schools than at any point in last 20 years - 28,500 more than in 1997.
• Police numbers are at record levels - up over 12,500 since 1997, and are assisted by over 4,000 new Community Support Officers"

1:20 pm, August 10, 2006

Blogger daraka kenric said...

Yes, back in California (my home town, Santa Barbara), after stints in New York, Norway and Sweden...

email me at larimorehall@yahoo.com, we can catch up.


9:48 pm, August 12, 2006

Blogger El Tom said...

No, yo've got me wrong, I'm ot saying that Clinto never achieved anything, he was a very successful President, who also had to grapple with an idiot Congress. tough job, still got a lot done.

I was just saying that the test of a centre-left party should not be 'is it electable', but 'waht can it acheive'. Sometimes you have to balance out the two, and I think the UK government concentrates too much on the former at the expense of the lattter.

Triangulation means not that you achieve nothing, but that you acheive less, in exchange for a gain in electability. So too much triangulation results in too much damage to principle.

Too much purity in principle means too little electability.

10:16 pm, August 13, 2006


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount