Thursday, October 18, 2007

Don't let it be a Duel

Rumours reach my ears that the leadership contest may only be between Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg. Neither of these would be my first choice and I don't relish the prospect of choosing between them. This isn't to say that I don't like them - both could do the job, but it's a bit like having to choose between cheddar and double gloucester - we need some gorgonzola, or some brie in there.

I think it cheats the members to prevent them having a full debate about the future direction of the Party. I don't know where people get the idea that Huhne is a leftie from - a Huhne/Clegg contest is simply a duel between the centre right and a little bit more centre right.

I hope that MPs reflect on this and don't just rush to back either of these without exploring other options. Who is going to be this contest's Huhne? Remember he came from nowhere last time so there is still an opportunity to steal the limelight from the two frontrunners.

It is particularly disappointing that no candidate of the left of the Party has yet emerged. I would have hoped to see either Steve Webb or Paul Holmes on the ballot.

The Party needs and deserves a wider choice and I hope that the MPs will realise that and reconsider their positions.


Onlinefocus Team said...

Yes, I would like to see members have more options too.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where did you hear such rumours. Steve Webb told in his blog that he has the support of the needed seven Lib Dem MPs, so I think it's quite likely that he will run.

Jock Coats said...

Absolutely agree. I am a Huhne supporter but I do believe it's crucial to have that wider debate (though the decision to make it a short contest also hampers that). And I do think that it can only be of credit to the others who stand and that their profile and "stock" will rise in doing so as with Chris last time round. C'mon - we want two or three more candidates - a field of five would be ideal to enable the workings of preferential voting to produce a real "majority" victor who can lead with confidence that he has a plurality backing him or her. We often talk about "strength in depth" now that we have 60+ MPs - time for some of them to show it!

Anonymous said...

I suppose the issue is - do people stand to be leader or stand to raise their profile/pet issues/foster party debate.

This is not West Wing with Santos standing to discuss education and then winning, it is for the leadership of the UKs 3rd largest political party. Only those who want to be leader should stand.


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