Opinion: How U.S. And UK “Liberals” Disfranchise Their Party Members

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Opinion: How U.S. And UK "Liberals" Disfranchise Their Party Members

Photo: usatoday

Originally appeared at MoonOfAlabama

The “liberal” party establishments in the U.S. and UK, within the Democrats and Labour, are united in their distaste for party member opinions. They alone want to decide which positions the party has to take. They want to make sure that there is no alternative to their rule. It is elitism at its worst which no longer bothers with the pretense of democracy. Does it count as “shared values”?

Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters’ opinions. This disenfranchises the people who supported him.

Trump’s attack lines on this are spot on:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump – 7:01pm · 12 Jul 2016Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs.

and

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump – 7:03pm · 12 Jul 2016Bernie sanders has abandoned his supporters by endorsing pro-war pro-TPP pro-Wall Street Crooked Hillary Clinton.

Those are valid statements. I find it hard to to argue with these.

Abstaining from any endorsement or running as independent or Green party candidate would have been more honorable ways for Sanders to admit defeat. It would have pressed the Democratic party to stop its movement to the right of the Republican party.

I expect the “Not Hillary” protest vote to be very strong in the November election. There is still more significant dirt to be dug up about her and her family foundation. Trumps current lows in the polls will recover when the media return to the “close race” mantra that makes them money. He still has a decent chance to win.

Then again – its the first time now that I have to concede that Clinton may well win. But that would be with a record low turnout, and record low legitimacy. There would be no wins for the Democrats in the Senate and House. She would be another Republican President who would represent only a record small slice of the electorate.

The election shambles on the other side of the Atlantic are no less depressing. “Corbyn can not win votes,” is the claim of the anti-Corbyn Blairites. That is why they have to resort to dirty tricks to disenfranchise Corbyn voters. His supporters are not allowed to count in a Labour leadership election because they support him. How can such “logic” and this step be legal?

Jeremy Corbyn was jubilant after the party’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) decided his name should automatically appear on the ballot paper in the leadership contest triggered by Angela Eagle.

However, in a separate decision taken after Corbyn had left the room, the NEC ruled that only those who have been members for more than six months will be allowed to vote – while new supporters will be given two days to sign up as registered supporters to vote in the race, but only if they are willing to pay £25 – far higher than the £3 fee many Corbyn backers paid in the contest last year.

If that ruling stands nearly 100,000 new party members who have joined in support of Corbyn will either have to immediately pay a poll-tax of £25, or will not be allowed to vote. Here is what the Labour website promised them when they joined:

Opinion: How U.S. And UK "Liberals" Disfranchise Their Party Members

Corbyn may need some lawyers to set the NEC straight.

One can only hope that he wins the new Labour leadership election. The Labour establishment stinks like an Augias stable and the party needs a thorough house cleaning.

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  • JennyS

    This article is absolutely spot on – I abandoned the UK Labour Party 10 years ago. The Sneering Elite are not interested in the peope who vote for them, in fact, they hold them in contempt.

    Voting to Leave the EU has fored them to show their true colours, their sole purpose now seems to be overturn a popular vote which they lost because only stupid people (their own supporters) voted for it.

    As for Clinton pretending to be standing up for the poor – it’s just a joke, a bigger joke than Sanders has turned out to be.