Not ready to governGrand National Party presidential contenders say they want to accept the scrutiny of a presidential primary race within their party. This is hardly news; accepting the result of a primary should be mandatory. However, their declaration this time is different because the two contenders have developed a heated conflict over the screening of candidates.
When major political powers dissent or form alliances without just cause it harms society, sets a bad example for the younger generation and destabilizes national politics. Thus we did not hesitate to criticize ruling party members when they broke their promise and left their party simply because it lost an election and had diminished popularity.
The Grand Nationals have long been the top opposition party, and now they have become the first and largest party. It has a greater responsibility to maintain its integrity and distance itself from the bad habit of internal dissent. The party must demonstrate moral integrity and establish the principles for primaries. And the candidates and their factions must abide by these rules and accept the result of the competition.
But so far none have indicated they will do this. Both leading candidates have argued for either a delay or an acceleration of the party’s race depending on what the public opinion polls suggest their support might be. Moreover, the party leadership is responsible for much consternation regarding the race because it failed to prepare institutional rules to deal with such predictable issues as screening. The third candidate of the party is saying he will not join the race unless the rules are changed in a way that is more beneficial for him.
To sum up, neither the party nor its candidates seem to deserve the name and dignity of a first party. The only thing that justifies their title is the GNP’s high degree of support among the public, and that’s not enough.
As an ad-hoc way of settling these issues, the Grand National Party and its candidates decided to rush the enrollment of presidential candidates between late March and early April. Once registered as a candidate for the party primary, losers cannot run in the presidential election even if they do not accept the result of the vote. Now that its runners are not credible, the party is attempting to remove the possibility of disintegration by introducing new rules. However, if the campaign extends for several months before the party’s primary, that may cause consternation as well.
The behavior of the candidates is critical to uphold the morality of politics and to avoid the temptations of disintegration.