Party Primaries for Candidate Selection? Right Question, Wrong Answer
University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol. 34, pp. 964-983, 2011
20 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2011
Date Written: December, 21 2011
Moves to adapt the US primary system for candidate selection are afoot in the common law world, against a backdrop of political malaise. This paper critically explores the genesis of this development and different models of adaptation. It contrasts the legal and social conception of a membership-based party in the common law tradtion, with the weak, US model of a political party, where 'membership' is transitory, transactionalised and public.
Problems with primaries are ultimately not ones of legal, let alone constitutional, form or limits. They are problems in the (mis)matching of ends and means in the design of political institutions. The primary is a paradoxical method to appeal to if the goal is to reinvigorate parties.
Keywords: Political Parties, Candidate Selection, Electoral Law, Constitutional Law, Freedom of Association
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