LETTER: Something that is truly open to all

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In my letter a couple of weeks ago, I pointed out that the local Conservative Party stated, when it got rid of Jim Rae and Helena Croft, that it ‘runs a free, open and democratic selection process for candidates at all levels’.

On the 28th of February, they announced on their website (http://www.horshamconservatives.com/news/new-conservative-parliamentary-candidate-be-selected) that the selection meeting for the MP candidate would be on March 12th. Apparently ‘the association operates a democratic selection process which will culminate with a meeting of all Horsham party members on 12th March 2015.’

Now, that’s not what I understand by ‘open’. The implication there is that at most, only party members will be able to vote. Having checked my facts on Wikipedia, this is known as a ‘closed primary’; an ‘open primary’ is one where all voters can take part.

The Conservative Party have run open primaries, and are doing so more and more, but obviously that’s a little too futuristic and democratic for our local association.

It’s easy for parties to state they they are open, and accessible to anyone, but in most cases it’s not actually true.

With Something New, we’re trying something truly open; absolutely anyone can propose a change to our manifesto, and we arrive at a consensus on what goes in.

wThis is a new type of democracy, one that’s truly available to everyone, and that respects everyone’s opinions.

An open future is one where we all have a voice; where we are all respected and able to feel that we’ve been heard. Not one where we all get our way, but one where we can all arrive at a consensus together.

I will be at the March 12th meeting, despite not being a member of the Conservative Party. I suggest you all come along too. Let’s see if we can show the Conservatives what ‘open’ really looks like.

JAMES SMITH

Horsham parliamentary candidate for Something New, Greenfinch Way, Horsham