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Tory policy to be lauded

Let's be honest:

it is not often this newspaper has a positive word for the Conservative Party.

On taxation, public spending, welfare, immigration, the environment and the EU, we believe the UK Government and David Cameron are on the wrong path.

However, just because a party can be wrong for most of the time, does not mean it is wrong all of the time.

The Scottish Tories will tomorrow stage their first US-style 'open primary', which will be used to pick a Westminster candidate for a Borders seat. Instead of the selection contest being restricted to party members, any voter on the local electoral roll will be eligible to take part.

In the closed world of political selections, where vested interests and powerful families wield disproportionate influence, this is welcome.The new system is also in stark contrast to the appalling situation presided over by Labour in Falkirk.

As we have reported extensively, the trade union Unite signed up more than 100 new members in a bid to influence the selection of a particular candidate in the constituency. Some of these members, it was alleged, did not know that they'd been recruited, a claim denied by Unite.

Of course, the primary system is not without its faults. Strict spending limits must be put in place to stop rich individuals from trying to buy the outcome.

However, the idea of involving more people in the political process is a good one. It is to be hoped that the Scottish Tories' bold initiative succeeds and is copied elsewhere.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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