The Socialists’ have always enjoyed needlessly complicated internal procedures, both to govern the party day-to-day, and to make the biggest decision for a political party, the choice of leader. Put aside concerns about the cult of personality and the importance of the grassroots, issues that the left perennially frets over, and results in them choosing dreadful leaders. The leader gives momentum, political direction and visibility to a political party.
Following an attempt to streamline the process and avoid the messiness of a bitterly contested vote that was the consequence of the Reims party conference in 2008, the Party is choosing a leader this year under new rules. That the new rules could allow the outgoing team to pick their successors was not something that the party members had in mind back in 2008. But it seems it was at the forefront of Martine Aubry’s thinking. Now that the party cadres have chosen Harlem Desir as the next leader, members will rubber-stamp this decision in a vote next month. How did the party that brought the open primary election to France end up using its membership as an echo chamber for the choice of leader? Continue reading