7 October 2010

Rhetorical question

"Are both the Conservative and Labour parties collapsing? And if so, why?" asks Neil O'Brien, director of Policy Exchange, in the Telegraph.

Answers: Yes; and because the era of mass-based parties passed long ago, to be replaced by small groups of conspirators who compete with each other to get their snouts in the trough. Only the elderly, the nostalgic and the masochistic are members today.  

If you want an over-elaboration of the reasons, click here (pdf). The operative paragraph, cited by O'Brien:
As parties get closer to the state and more professionalized, they find it easier to ignore their members while at the same time expecting them to take on extra regulatory burdens. Party leaders have little incentive to recruit and retain new members if the taxpayers pick up the costs of running the party organisation.

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