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British Politicians Observe SD Primaries

June 6, 2012, 6:17 AM by Brady Mallory

British Politicians Observe SD Primaries

The South Dakota primaries are drawing attention all the way from across the pond.  Four sitting members of British Parliament are trading Big Ben for the Mount Rushmore state this week for an education in American primaries.  Despite only spending a few days in Sioux Falls, some members are already weighing in on campaigns.

"I was quite impressed with Jeff Barth's slogan, 'Muddy Boots politician,'" Yvonne Fovargue, Member of Parliament for Makerfield, said.

The trip is mainly education.  No matter what you call it: Democrat or Republican; Labour Party or Conservative, some aspects of politics are universal. 

"On both sides of the Atlantic, there's a lot of disengagement with politics at the moment with ordinary people feeling like they just don't make a difference," Fovargue said.

Hoping to change that, these four Members of Parliament could use aspects of American primary voting.

"It's very, very eclectic," David Morris, Member of Parliament for Morecambe and Lunesdale, said.

In America, primary elections find the general public selecting their candidates for Congress.  In Parliament, the delegates are chosen to run by their own political parties.  According to Morris, England has already experimented with our voting-style.  

"I think I'm the only one of what's called a caucus-style primary," Morris said.  "We are actually already engaging in the system.  I'm the product of it.  However, now we've got to find the intricacies of your system to see if we can transpose that to our democracy."

If in the future, members cast their ballots to incorporate America's primary style into their own politics, fans of the Royal Family need not worry.  Morris said any changes will not de-thrown the Queen, or future royalty.

"We don't vote our Queen in.  I can't see that ever happening.  You know, God save the Queen!" Morris said with a smile.

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