According to Alexander McKay (Letters, 5 August), electability is the main aim for any political party. He is not alone in this view.

Both Jeremy Corbyn in Britain and Donald Trump in America are inciting the same view in their respective electoral campaigning.

Neither will enhance the electability of their parties if chosen as candidate for Labour leadership, in Corbyn’s case, and Republican presidential candidacy in Trump’s case.

In fact, say their critics, it is dead certain Labour will lose any subsequent parliamentary election under Corbyn leadership, and Obama’s White House successor will be from the same Democrat party if Trump is the Republican name on the presidential ballot paper.

However, such a view overlooks and belittles the conscious choice of party members, in both cases, who, regardless of election consequences, are engaged in choosing a candidate who they think best represents them in terms of their individual political views and preferences.


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This is not, ipso facto, a recipe for electoral failure. It could be such in a short-term perspective but not inevitably so.

However, in the long term it becomes more substantial and is more likely to restore not only “soul” to the political scene but “body” also.

Because, by elevating election-winning as the big aim, politics dispenses with not only principles but almost everything else of value to an electorate, 
including manifesto promises (need we mention “vows”?), and actions become over-ridden by rhetoric.

Already this has been seen as more and more prevalent, hence Labour, Lib Dem, and Tory losing their distinctiveness and blending into a plasticity of politics as has happened in the US where Democrats and Republicans are very often indistinguishable.


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Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive