I HAVE some sympathy for Keith Massey’s points on democracy and candidate selection (Letters, July 16), having been barred earlier this year from the shortlist for prospective party candidates for the Liberal Democrats in York Outer in spite of having increased the Lib Dem vote in York Central by 50 per cent in 2010.

But I think he is confusing two issues.

The point of joining a political party is to have a say in shaping that party’s priorities and manifesto and to contribute to the selection of election candidates, at local and national level.

If Keith Massey wishes to have a say in candidate selection, he only has to join a political party and vote when the opportunity arises.

When a small coterie within a party ban or deselect certain individuals, for whatever reason, it is up to party members to protest, if they object. If they don’t complain, then we must presume they are happy with the decisions others have made for them. No one has a right to be a councillor in perpetuity.

Why should the general public be involved in candidate selection? If a party has chosen badly, the results will be abundantly clear when the ballot boxes are emptied.

Christian Vassie, Blake Court, Wheldrake, York.