Britain: Ordered by Mail

Experience 1, charisma 0

By the standards of any democracy, let alone the rough and tumble of British politics, it was an unusual way to pick a leader. Rather than leave the choice to its 30 Members of Parliament, the new Social Democratic Party mailed ballots to each of the 62,372 people who had paid $19 a year to join the party. To the surprise of pundits and pollsters, the final tally last week handed victory not to the underdog who had pressed for the ballot by mail but to the elder statesman who would no doubt have been...

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