But Linda appears, in her reply to comments, to have moved the preponderance of her argument. She's shifted her ground (and we all know that a moving target is harder to hit). Linda is now majoring on whether or not general election candidates are told they will have to re-apply for by-elections, whereas the overwhelming weight of her original post was asking 'why was a woman dumped for a man?' (I've now re-read it for the third time to check that this paraphrase is accurate and I apologise if I have been too broad-brush or inaccurate).
However, I find Linda's whole main argument totally illogical and well, er, "squiggly". We have two by-elections and the local parties, yes, the
...have selected one man and one woman. Even stevens. Problem? Yes, if you were the general election woman candidate (I'm not even sure she was on the short-list) who wasn't selected or the "general" man who wasn't selected (who certainly wasn't on the shortlist). But the party gets two locally selected candidates to fight for, one of each gender.
I really think a few cogs have flown off Linda Jack's rotor-blade on this one. I saw the pressure of a by-election at reasonably close quarters in Newbury. Here's just one little example of the heat a candidate can be under: David Rendel had been working for 14 hours and at 10pm one night, someone approached him as he left the by-election headquarters. They asked about his thoughts on Europe and taxed him on some points.
Then someone ran out of the by-election HQ to tell David something important. The person asking the questions, unseen to David, was holding a microphone behind their back so that they were recording everything David said.
That's just a little sample of the pressure which by-election candidates and their families come under. Alex Wilcock is right in his comments under Linda's post. Most general election candidates who are not re-selected for the by-election just knuckle down and support the eventual candidate.
Nothing personal Linda, and apologies for any patronising sanctimony in the above post.