The Conservative Party Constitution if it means anything should be online for everyone to read.
I would have thought that the Operations Director of the Conservative Central Office should have seen to this.
Interesting article on the subject here:
by the Chairman of the Conservative One Person One Vote campaign
(that such an organisation even exists is a joke in its self if you ask me)
which claims that clause 17 of the constitution states: "The Board shall have power to do anything which in its opinion relates to the management and administration of the Party."
Which means that the whole argument that the local association could reinstate Pelling if the executive are against it is meaningless.
I'm not sure how much of this is true as I am reluctant to commute to the Bodleian library to verify it.
But perhaps as an expert on the subject you could comment.
All this trouble could have been avoided if you had had a vote on who should be the candidate before the election.
One can make arguements against OMOV internal proceedures - they can take a lot of time and money.
However, as Gordon Brown discovered, not having an internal election (even if it's because it is for perfectly valid reasons like no one else got enough nominations) gives everyone else a platform from which to continually snipe at you.
As ordinary members do not get a meaningful vote at candidate selection time (they now vote for a committee who have the final say in candidate selection)
I guess this explains Pelling's abortive attempt in early 2009 to gain control of the local conservative federation? An attempt to replace those who have the meaningful votes?
I love the way you refer to yourself as a federation by the way - it's so Blakes 7.
Also your present selection method of voting a committee to vote for the candidate is bound to create a situation where one or two people have too much power.
...And either do a Shirley Trimmer and leave taking a substantial number or members and money with them or leave a whole area of the party feeling that they haven't had a say so they eventually get frustrated and leave.
The issue here really is not whether you or Pelling should have been the candidate.
It is that you're not going through the motions of listening to your membership and making them feel included.
If you spent less time worrying about the opinions of people like me who are never going to vote for you and spent more time listening to the opinions of your membership you wouldn't be in this situation.
You will find Ashcrofts millions are not enough - you need a strong voluntary part of the party.
You have to face it there comes a point where you can't appeal to everyone you have to represent someone.
All parties need to expand their membership and no one's going to pay money to join a party when they dont seem to get any say for their money.
Because people aren't actually that daft. It's not a good deal.
Perhaps these are issues you should cogitate on when you consider cutting funding to the Electoral Commission.