Saturday, December 4, 2021

Primaries – The New Trend


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In the past, it was common for a political party to select a candidate for a constituency or ward without the consent of the supporters of the party in that ward or constituency. But there is a growing tendency to hold primaries to select party candidates where more than one aspirant shows interest to become a party candidate. There is growing demand by party members for them to do the selection of their candidates rather than by the top echelon. In fact petitions have been filed and re-runs have been scheduled in some instances.

What is significant to ensure that the process is credible is its transparency and fairness, to the extent that the defeated candidate would accept defeat in good faith. This would minimize the risk of a defeated candidate opting to stand as an independent candidate.

Needless to say, when the voters in such a process are enlightened no one can subject them to any form of manipulation to vote for a candidate based on sentiments or pecuniary benefits. An enlightened voter would vote based on the merits of the candidate. He or she would examine the sincerity, competence and programme of the candidate and make a decision based on these considerations.

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