Memberspanel_2Today and every day this week
we’ll be publishing some of the comments that
respondents made to January’s survey of the ConservativeHome Members’ Panel.  You can take February’s survey by clicking here.

Today we’re publishing ten of
your anonymous thoughts on the party’s A list of candidates.  Tomorrow they will be
about David Cameron.  On Saturday we will publish all one thousand or
so comments.

1. I
have been a party activist since 1978 and between Thatcher and now
pretty unhappy – with Cameron, we’re in with a real chance. As a very
successful businesswoman (recently retired), I don’t like positive
discrimination towards women and I don’t know anyone who does. We only
want to be judged on merit. Thank you.


2. The
A-list of candidates is a very good idea but I would prefer that it did
not specify exact percentages of men and women – it would be better if
the commitment were something like at least 30% men, and at least 30%


3. Make
sure we get the best candidate for each constituency regardless of
whether they are men or women, even though we still need more women

4. Since
the Tory party is now in favour of positive discrimination, perhaps it
should consider drawing up a list of white working class candidates for
the next election. As David Cameron himself said most people in the
Conservative party are white middle class men. Then he said we need
more black and women candidates (fair enough), but surprise surprise no
working class ones. It’s enough to give you a complex guvnor!


5. The
creation of a selection process for candidates that does not positively
select the best candidate regardless of sex, race, education at Oxford
or Cambridge, wealth, fame and other made up criteria is desperately
depressing for those who have voted Conservative because they believed
them to be the party of opportunity for all. David Cameron has not
thought about keeping his tried and faithful in his quest for new


6. I
agree with David Cameron on most issues and I am very happy with the
way that the party is going. Although I feel there is a lot more to do,
we are now on our way to winning the next election. I am not too
concerned about the issues on which I do not agree as it would be
unhealthy to agree with anyone on all issues all the time. With regards
to the issue of 50/50 men and women, as a woman Councillor and Cabinet
member, I do not agree in positive discrimination. I have got where I
am through hard work and determination and would not like to think I
got my position just because I am a woman.


7. The
Stalinist purge of the Candidates’ List has effectively told many
hardworking and ambitious Conservatives that they are no longer wanted
by the Party. Many have resigned. Others have just given up and are
waiting to see how it turns out. How can the Party continue as a viable
grassroots force if it discards a large chunk of its workers?


8. If
things continue as they are there is an increasing risk of the ‘radical
right’ becoming disenfranchised. I don’t like the way that some of
David Cameron’s pronouncements seem to have already closed off certain
options for his policy groups. The Priority List concept is fraught
with danger and could be a nightmare to implement. We need much more
information about how it will work in practice.


9. I
have concerns over the candidate selection process which I have raised
with David Cameron’s team by email when invited to do so but to date
have received no reply. I can’t help but now feel that if you don’t
agree then they don’t want to know. On the whole I think things are
going well but I don’t want to end up in a position where the only
right opinion is David Cameron’s and there is no room for discussion.


10. With
reference to the question on an ‘A’ list of candidates 50% men and 50%
Women. I do agree with the premise that the Conservative party need to
encourage and involve women more. However, I do not believe that
selection just on gender is sending the right signal to the voting
public. Instead the Conservatives should be shown to select on
merit…irrespective of gender, colour, culture etc. Only then can they
be seen as a true party of the people.

For discussion of preferred candidates for the A-List please see the ConservativeHome blog of GoldList candidates.