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I think you are mixing two issues here: preventing people from joining and kicking existing members out.

In Europe, kicking someone out is common in populist parties when leaders clash (recent example: Marine Le Pen kicking out his dad). In mainstream parties, it usually happens when prominent members cause a scandal or openly campaign against the party. But kicking someone out is usually difficult and those kicked out can sue in regular courts against the decision. Some cases:

  • In the UK, Labour expelled George Galloway for his comments about the Iraq War in 2003.
  • In Germany, CDU member of parliament Martin Hohmann held an anti-semitic speech in 2003. Merkel quickly kicked him out of the CDU parliamentary faction, but it took more than half a year for his local party branch to also expel him from the party.
  • Also in Germany, the SPD had a string of high-profile cases. The first was Wolfgang Clement, former economy and labour super-minister under Schröder, a complete corporate sell-out who began to attack his own party from the right. The expulsion proceedings started when he openly called against the election of the SPD in the 2008 Hessen regional elections for being too leftist. His local party branch decided against expulsion, which was over-turned at regional level, which was reduced to a mere admonishment at federal level, but Clement then left on his own.
  • Another scandalous SPD member is Islamophobe and upper-class racist hate-monger Thilo Sarrazin. Two successive attempts at expulsion failed at the level of his local party branch in Berlin, the second time just because he pledged himself to Social Democrat values. He is still an SPD member and still publishing new books full of racist theses.
  • In 2013, the SPD wanted to expel Sebastian Edathy over a child pornography case. It didn't get to that, only to a five-year suspension of membership by mutual agreement.
  • Italy's most famous party expulsion was when the Italian Socialist Party kicked Mussolini out for supporting Italy's entry into WWI.
  • There was a similar case in France: in 1934, the French Communist Party kicked out Jacques Doriot for supporting the idea of a popular front coalition, which he responded to by turning a fascist (and opposing the actual Popular Front government when PCF made its about-face).

In Europe, preventing would-be members from joining usually comes up when the party establishment becomes afraid of entryism. The most recent example is attempts in the UK's Labour to block the surge of new applicants who came because of Corbyn. There was a similar case in Germany, when a student movement started in 1998 with the actual explicit intent to take over the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), but the party establishment reacted by raising the bar on joining. So several thousands joined, some rising high in the ranks later, but there was no real re-orientation of the party.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 06:19:44 AM EST
It is often difficult to separate conflated issues. In the cases you described I still don't know, for example, if George Galloway was expelled from Labour Party membership, just from the leadership or both. Also, by what means. I presume he could still vote for Labour in a general election should he so desire in any case. The issue is similar to citizenship in some respects. A native born US Citizen usually will, by law, lose their right to vote upon a felony conviction. The exact conditions vary from state to state as do the conditions under which lost civil rights are restored, if they ever are. But they do not lose citizenship, as that is intrinsic. Citizenship, however, can be revoked for immigrants and they can be deported.

The right to join and remain a member of a political party and the conditions under which that can be revoked seems to be more complex than we might imagine. The original question arose out of a discussion of what to do about former 'new Labour' leaders who were attempting to sabotage Corbyn. The person with whom I was having the discussion was born a US citizen but now resides in the UK. To the question of 'can they be expelled from the party' she answered 'of course they can'. But the grounds upon which this could happen and the mechanism for so doing have still to be elucidated.

I am hardly an expert on comparative political science as it applies to membership rights and rules in various countries, so it is hard for me to even start to investigate the issue. The same questions apply to every example you gave. I expect you can answer pretty directly and with some detail for Germany and Hungary.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 09:07:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Galloway was expelled from the party by the standing committee responsible for such matters.

George Galloway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The National Constitutional Committee, responsible for internal disciplinary matters, held a hearing on 22 October 2003, to consider the charges, taking evidence from Galloway himself, from other party witnesses, viewing media interviews, and hearing character testimony from former Cabinet Minister Tony Benn,[100] among others. The following day, the committee decided in favour of four of the five charges accusing Galloway of "bringing the party into disrepute," and expelled Galloway from the Labour Party.[1]

Outside the US, there is no such thing as registration by party, and you don't provide your party affiliation when voting in publicly administered elections. Instead, party membership is something much stronger: it's like joining a club, you sign papers, get a membership ID, pay a membership fee, and are invited to exclusive party meetings. (I think the US is really special in this respect: what I described is AFAIK similar in Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico and the rest of Latin America, Japan, etc, and I can't think of any other country where registration has the same significance as in the US.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 10:36:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do ballots list the party affiliation of candidates? And am I correct that there IS a registration with some official state organization to determine the elegibility to vote, and, for local and regional elections determine who is eligible according to residence?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 01:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a register, but at least in Sweden it is automatic. You turn 18, you are registered to vote. And they know your age because everyone gets their ID number at birth or when you migrate to Sweden.
by fjallstrom on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 05:52:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ballots of course list party affiliation (and parties, where we have proportional voting): the secret part of voting is on the voters' side.

Registration differs from country to country; I'd distinguish three basic types: in some, you have to request registration as a standalone official act; in others, you get to do it alongside doing residence declaration or some other official document all people have to fill out; in still others, there is no registration but people are automatically enrolled on voter lists by the state (as fjallstrom wrote, thanks to IDs). The UK, Australia and Mexico are in the first group, France and Canada are in the second, while the overwhelming majority of European states is in the third group (including Germany, the Netherlands, all Scandinavian countries, Italy or Hungary).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 07:07:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do ballots list the party affiliation of candidates?

Yes, but at least in Sweden that is because it is primarily a party ballot, which also lists the candidates. But you can vote for a party in an election without voting for any particular person. So the party selects their candidates and they may or may not demand in their internal procedures that dues are paid before they nominate, but for all anyone who has not read their internal documents knows, their candidates may not even be members (though they likely are). Membership in parties for the rank and file is treated as somewhat of a secret, and trying to find out who is a member is close to McCarthy-ism. Unless the member has an official capacity, their membership is not a matter for anyone outside the party.

Your question appears to be connected with how you register to vote. Do ballots in the US get party affiliation from what the candidates registered as when they registered to vote.

by fjallstrom on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 06:15:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do ballots in the US get party affiliation from what the candidates registered as when they registered to vote.

Vise versa. I believe that a party's national convention could nominate someone not even a member of their party as their presidential candidate, though I cannot think of an example. Before Truman endorsed Stevenson as the Democratic presidential candidate in '52 he had invited Eisenhower to be the candidate, but Einsenhower declined. Eisenhower had told Kansas newspaper editor Roy A. Roberts in 1947 that he was "a good Kansas Republican like yourself". Although Roberts disclosed their conversation in 1951, Americans remained uncertain of Eisenhower's politics....Eisenhower also told Lodge that he was a Republican, which Lodge revealed during a 6 January 1952 press conference. Eisenhower announced through the military that Lodge was correct, and that while he would not ask to be relieved of his NATO assignment for political reasons, if the Republican party gave him "a duty that would transcend my present responsibility" at the convention in July and nominate him, he would run. As late as December, '51 Eisenhower had met with Robert A. Taft, and offered to make a pledge not to run or serve as president if Taft agreed to support collective security with Europe, but Taft had refused. The US military code forbade serving officers from becoming active in US domestic politics, but the question of the date of Eisenhower's actual registration as a member of the Republican Party remains unclear, certainly to me. He might have been registered as a Republican since adulthood, that may or may not have remained valid and he could  simply not have been active in politics, registered or not, pursuant to the military code. Eisenhower WAS a man of principle.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 09:57:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only elections where some people have to choose where to register are the EP elections if you are resident in a country that you are not a citizen of. You can either vote where you reside or in the country you are a citizen of, but you can only vote once. Since Germany has no voter registration process, every resident citizen of the union, German or not, gets a voter notification which in the small print says that it would be fraud to use it, if you vote elsewhere.
by Katrin on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 07:01:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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