If you were a Trot, what would you do?

The Labour Party is going through another of those periods, not so much of navel gazing, but more of vivisection. The latest episode includes accusations of entryism by that old bogey group, “the Trots”.

Previously the Labour party has gone through internecine strife and expulsions to purge the party of any non-mainstream thinking and of the aggression with which fringes have often pursued their agenda.

But this is inevitable. If you are a Trotskyist in Britain and you wanted to get into power, what else would you do?

The chance of a small minority party gaining an MP is next to nil – Caroline Lucas and Douglas Carswell excepted (and their parties have sizeable votes). The two old elitist parties have got the election system just about sewn up to exclude anything except their own parties’ mainstream thought.

So if you can’t get in to power directly via the election system do it indirectly – join one of the blocs (realistically Labour is the only bloc worth considering) and work from within. Get your candidates selected as Labour candidates – after all in most seats, selection guarantees election.

There is one solution that offers two ways to prevent this entryism. It involves making votes at a general election count and (paradoxically) breaking the power of the parties – particularly their selection procedures.

If a minority group could win seats (proportional to their support) they could stand honestly as a party and not have to win through entryism.

If the election system genuinely allowed voters to choose between a range of candidates representing the diversity of political opinion in their area and the system made tactical voting unnecessary and avoided split votes, party members could refuse to vote for “entryists” and instead vote for an alternative candidate.

STV of course does all this.

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