Post by nobodyimportant on Aug 15, 2019 20:10:04 GMT
There's been lots of stuff in the news recently (again) about talks about defections between parties in parliament (some of which have led to actual defections, others of which have not - yet?), but I was wondering... What sort of things do they actually talk about?
I mean, I can understand once someone has decided to defect that they would want to discuss how/when to make the announcement, and any operational changes that need to happen for the MP, but it's clear that sometimes these talks happen and then nothing comes of it and you wouldn't expect these sorts of things to influence whether or not the defection even happens.
The prospective defector already knows who their new parliamentary coleagues would be, what their policy platform is, and thus whether or not they would be a good fit for the party. Likewise the party that they would be defecting to knows whether or not a potential defector is someone they would welcome into the party. Getting these things across aren't exactly difficult or complex, either.
So what is it that they are actually discussing in the early stages of these talks? Does anyone here know?
(P.S. Apologies if this would have been better in the General UK Politics forum)
In the case of defections to the Liberal Democrats I hope that there would be long conversations which explored those areas with which the defector had previously disagreed with the LibDems. Obviously Brexit has been a catalyst, as indeed attitudes to Europe have been for past defectors from the Tory MEPs to the LibDems, but we are much more than the "Bollocks to Brexit" party. There are significant cultural differences, at least at activist level, between the parties, and I would want to ne sure that a potential defector accepted the prospect of activists sometimes making policy decisions at Conference that they might disagree with. Sarah Wollaston has been criticised a lot for her U-turn on Brexit during the referendum, but I think the ability to change one's mind on issues is a strength rather than a weakness, so that if someone has previously campaigned against a key issue like Proportional Representation but has now changed their mind on the issue then that is to be welcomed. Having said all that, my MP has recently become a Tory rebel, resigning from the Government and urging that No Deal should be taken off the table. I see that as an attempt to save his seat at the next election in a strong Remain constituency, but if he was to approach the Liberal Democrats with a view to defecting (not that I seriously think he would) I hope that we would turn him down because, unlike Wollaston, I just can't see that he would be comfortable with us.
The only "better prospect" that the LibDems are able to offer is a seat in the House of Lords.