It was on the radio while on drive to work that I heard these words, “A party that cannot conduct its own internal elections effectively, can not be trusted to run a country”. I was driving in Scotland and the party in question was UK Labour party.
The Labour party recently has had a series of setbacks. In an election where they had aspirations to overtake the incumbent Conservatives, they ceded more ground to them.
At present, the Labour party is in a soul searching mode. Their leader resigned after accepting full responsibility of the defeat in the general elections earlier this year.
The party’s leadership is being contested by four candidates. However turmoil has unfolded because of a loophole that emerged in their intra-party electoral process. Seemingly anyone can obtain a Labour membership that is effective immediately and vote for party’s future leader. This led hordes of people from other parties, subscribing for the Labour membership. Their sinister plan was to vote for the worst possible candidate and weaken Labour further. After all what could be better for a ruling party than to have an incompetant opposition leader. At present Labour is in the process of fixing this loophole and thousands of membership applications have now been vetted.
5000 miles away in Pakistan, one would not be at fault, if they thought that PTI was being discussed in the opening lines of this article. While Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf must be lauded to stage an intra-party election- which is something of a novelty in Pakistan- but it cannot shy away from the shortcomings witnessed.
The party has had its ups and down but its time that the party shifts its focus from circumstances outwith their control. This party needs its own soul searching and most of all needs to be institutionalized. All of its candidates should epitomize its manifesto. At the moment, PTI at grass root level looks a dispersed group that has been assembled in haste to a make up the numbers. It is yet to become an efficient machine, where every cog and pinion is in sync with the other, top down.
In the commercial world, products achieve stratospheric sales only when the customer knows what its brand stands for. PTI is losing its brand value. Its principle stance against nepotism and forgery have lost their gloss. The party need to be revamped through an internal reform rather than a strategic shift in its politics.