William Hague's Reforms of the Conservative Party

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William Hague’s Reforms

Fresh Future

William Hague introduced “The Fresh Future” plan on the 16th of February 1998 in an effort to revitalise his own, and his parties, public image. The plan mirrored that of the Conservative party conference earlier that year. With the Tories losing popularity in the polls and with the public, the plan was a set of reforms that intended to increase relationships between the Conservative party and the public following the Conservatives defeat in the 1997 general elections. The plan was heavily influenced by George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” strategy that was introduced to remove the public’s alienation by the strongly worded Republican Party. Hague used the “Fresh Future” plan to try to replicate the affects of this strategy.

OMOV (One Member, One Vote)

The OMOV system is an alternative electoral system for choosing party leaders and/or deciding party policy. It didn’t come into main stream political use till the 1990s when Labour briefly utilised it. What the system essentially does is entitle every member of the party to a vote in making important decisions. The aim of the system is to make the system a lot fairer and the internal workings of a party more democratic. Whilst in some senses it does this, the strength of a vote varies based on situation in the party, for example an MPs vote is essentially worth more than a member of one of the parties supporting trade unions.

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Changes in election of the Conservative Leader

In 2001, it became apparent to the Conservative Party that leadership under William Hague was not working and a new more suitable leader should be decided upon. Following Hague’s resignation the party chose to utilise the “One Member, One Vote” system which represented a significant change in the parties internal system. The Conservatives carry many elitist ideals and at the time they were very prevalent in the party’s decision making and the electing of a new leader. Prior to the election in 2001, the party leader would have been decided by a handful ...

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