The Labour leadership election is a democratic travesty

The idea that the seemingly imminent election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party represents the triumph of popular will over the conservative elitism of the party machine is a little simplistic, but not completely without foundation. Yet this does not mean that the process that looks set to crown Corbyn is particularly democratic. In fact, the equality that now exists between full party members and ‘registered supporters’, who may have signed up just days before the ballots went out, is democratically dubious for several reasons.

The way the Labour Party has traditionally been organised deserves no defence. That its structure and culture needs radical reform is clear. However, the precise nature of the reforms Ed Miliband introduced is a big part of the reason for the situation Labour now finds itself in.

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