Political Recruitment: Gender, Race and Class in the British by Pippa Norris

By Pippa Norris

Pippa Norris and Joni Lovenduski ask why a few politicians achieve getting into the top workplaces of kingdom, whereas others fail. They learn the relative dearth of ladies, black and dealing category contributors of Parliament, and no matter if this obtrusive social bias issues for political illustration. The authors draw proof from the 1st systematic surveys of parliamentary applicants, participants of Parliament and celebration selectors, in addition to specified own interviews. The research explores how and why humans develop into politicians, and the implications for events, legislatures and consultant executive.

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Public speaking is just the obvious one, but there is also getting on with Mrs Bloggs who wants to complain . . there is relations with the press and issuing the press release, and just general mixing and all the rest of it, so many different facets. I felt that over a weekend you could test out that.. 19 Others were more critical about the process, believing that it was lengthy and produced a 'standardised' product. 2 0 I would discard the week-end [boards] if I were Central Office, myself. I think it's been a mistake.

Many found the interview process daunting, but soon learnt from the experience: I'd never been before and I was absolutely terrified. I didn't know what to expect. I believed I had to make a speech, so I mugged up lots of... I thought, well, what sorts of things, what sorts of theme am I going to take? 42 One gained from experience about what sort of questions one was actually going to get, and ... 44 44 Who selects, and how? The format for interviews, usually about thirty minutes each, is a short speech followed by questions for a set time.

I was applying for safe seats, yes. 30 You apply for everything, everybody does. Every time you get a notification about a safe seat coming up ... 31 Once they decide to pursue a vacancy, applicants inform Central Office, who pass biographical details to the constituency. In the 1987-92 round of selections as many as 200-400 people applied for a good 'inheritor' vacancy, while 50-100 tried for high-prospect challenger seats. In contrast, there may be only ten applicants for the more difficult contests; in the last general election the Conservatives had problems rinding good candidates for the last few Scottish seats.

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