Term Limits

Appendix 7.IV.6 states that elected delegates to a General Committee only serve for a year.

The term of office of a delegate shall commence with the opening of the annual meeting of this CLP following their appointment or the date of their appointment if after the annual meeting. Unless terminated by their resignation, death or for any other reason by the affiliated organisation or Party unit which appointed them, the term of office of a delegate shall extend to the conclusion of the next following annual meeting of this CLP but they shall not be entitled to attend except as members of the Executive Committee of this CLP to tender reports to that meeting but not to vote unless reappointed as delegates for the appropriate year. All delegates who qualify under these conditions may be reappointed.It shall be the duty of the secretary of this CLP to invite affiliated organisations and Party units to elect their delegates prior to and in time to be called to the annual meeting and to assist this the Executive Committee may set a reasonable deadline for the appointment of delegates for that meeting.

Shenanigans

Three branches of the local Labour Party elected their GC delegation by placing gender quotas on classes of delegate, Secretary, Open Place & Youth and thus elected a valid delegation under the rules as stated in Chapter 8.

The  training on AGMs issued by the Party makes it clear that meeting the branch gender quotas is a matter for the branch.

There is a Chapter 15 rule that states that efforts should be made to ensure the delegation is gender balanced, but because it’s Chapter 15, this remains a matter for the branch. (These are rules for a meeting.)

The Secretary thus has no standing in determining if the delegation is valid. Nor any authority to order a recount. To attempt by decree to rule that last year’s delegation should be reinstated is arbitrary, capricious, perverse and irrational. It is these things even when backed by Region’s advice. It is also in complete contradiction to Rule Appendix 7.IV.6 which states that a delegates term lasts until the beginning of the next AGM.

Affiliates

On affiliates in the Labour Party,

Ch 7.IX.C New affiliations accepted at least 60 days prior to the AGM in the current year shall have all rights associated with attendance at the AGM

my emphasis, because we are missing the documentation

App 7.1X.3 an organisation during the year in which it is affiliated or a Party unit during the year in which it is established shall be entitled to appoint delegates to attend and participate in meetings of the General Meeting subsequent to the annual meeting, the number of delegates being calculated on the basis of the affiliation fee or membership fees paid in the said year.

Labour’s Democracy Review

Labour’s Democracy Review

Labour List reports the initialisation of the Labour Party’s “Democracy Review, together with some snide comments about its pace, suggesting that it is designed to  cement Corbyn’s leadership and succession rather than ensure it reports to the membership in time to debate the changes before conference.  They also publish the document passed at the OrgSub, also available as a mirror from this site.

The review will work in three phases, liberation organisation and autonomy, organisation & structure.

The first phase, about the Liberation Groups is planned to end by 12th Jan. One of the drivers for this is almost certainly the need to have new systems in place when the NEC Youth Rep is to be elected, and the need to rerun the election for the BAME representative on the NEC. From my conversations though I know that our BAME members have more to say.

The paper says there will be a hub, presumably a wiki at which members, CLPs and affiliates will be able to access the consultation questions and respond, there will also be an email address, (presumably for those without a browser) which is less satisfactory as any contributions become secret. The paranoid amongst us, assume that by not having a closed membership open wiki, where members can set the agenda, they are building a means of control.

Right to vote

You are a member of the Labour Party where you live/reside. The system of record is the Labour Party’s membership system. Lewisham Deptford’s Vice Chair Membership has posted a reminder on how to ensure this record is up to date.

Ring’em on 0345 092 2299

short links@ http://wp.me/p7KCVW-Lm or https://is.gd/oiP1sh

I am told that you can amend your own address on membersnet.

Save

Save

Save

Rules again!

I got to Conference early today to watch the debate on finance and the rules. This article talks about the rules debates, the balance of forces on Conference floor, what I hope is the end of the debate on racism in the Labour Party and a footnote on the continuing arguments about expulsions, purges and justice.

Votes heal

Why can’t the Labour Party recognise that fair votes heal? If you’ve done your best and lost, then it’s easier to accept the will of the majority. While it’s always been a ploy to manipulate the short lists for selections, there’s an ugly rumour going round that Lewisham’s Mayoral Selection committee plan to propose a short list of two, one woman and one man to put to the members.

The big picture is that the candidate will be chosen by a one member, one vote; members should be given a diverse choice of competent candidates. Proposing a candidate that doesn’t come from such a competition, is contemptuous of the electorate, and dangerous for the Party as the experience of Gordon Brown and Theresa May, who both avoided their membership confirmation have shown.

Labour’s rules emphasise fairness to candidates and members in several places.

ooOOOoo

Chapter 1.VIII.N NEC & Equalities Policy, sets out our equality goals, supporting the representation of working class, women, ethnic minority, LGBT and disability candidates and the NEC’s duty to pursue it.

In Chapter 4.I.1 they declare the that fair elections will be held, obvious it would seem but the Judges quoted this in the 2016 cases. The rule applies to internal officer elections, but if they can import freeze dates into internal elections from Chapter 5, then the overall duty of fairness from Chapter 4 can be applied to Chapter 5 (Candidates for Office) selections.

Under Chapter 5, rule 5.I.C.i requires a fair selection and rule 5.I.E. Candidates representative of our society states,

i. The Party will take action in all selections to encourage a greater level of representation and participation of groups of people in our society who are currently under-represented in our democratic institutions. In particular, the Party will seek to select more candidates who reflect the full diversity of our society in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation and disability, and to increase working class representation.

Chapter 5, also has a rule, 5.I.H. called “Transparency in procedures”, which states that

i. Procedural rules and guidelines for these selections shall endeavour to be clear, simple and easy to administer by Party units. Support shall be provided to those administering the selections process.

Transparency, and that word is why I publish the rule title would suggest the rules are published in advance and available to all. It would seem that this rule has not been so well read.

I was of the view that a rule exists that states there must be at least three candidates for a single post selection, but I can’t find it today; I must have seen it somewhere, perhaps its in some of the procedural guidelines for parliamentary selections, which not all members get to see.

Finally rule 5.III.7 documents the disputes process for non inclusion, to be resolved by the Regional Appeals Board, or the LCF on the process of the selection.

Ayes to the left

What the Labour Party does best, argue about rules! The purpose of meeting standing orders is to allow the meeting to express its will. It’s not a sailing race, they should not be weapons. This little note talks about how to vote and win votes in a Labour Party meeting, based on Chapter 15 of its rules.

Voting on business is by show of hands unless otherwise prescribed by the rules or requested by three members; the alternative is a written secret ballot. Elections & Selections must be by secret ballot. Oh! I didn’t know a secret ballot could be requisitioned by three members, I wonder if this rule can be applied to conference. This is covered in Rule C15.I.L.i, which does not explicitly state that motions are carried by simple majority but what it says about the circumstances of an equality of votes and casting votes strongly implies that the default position is that motions are carried if they receive more votes “for” than “against”.

Procedural motions are carried by a simple majority.  See rule 15.I.J.i. The rule lists procedural motions, “next business”, “that the vote be taken”, “adjournment” and “no confidence in the chair”. Additionally, votes to confirm motions as emergency motions are carried on a simple majority 15.I.H.i. Speakers can ask for an extension of their speech time limit, 15.I.I.ii this is granted on a simple majority.

Votes requiring a qualified majority.  Votes to extend the meeting require a ⅔ majority (of those present). Votes to challenge/overturn a Chair’s ruling require a ⅔ majority (of those present). Individual’s can be expelled from a meeting on the proposal of the chair requiring a ⅔ majority (of those present).

The exam question today is, can the agenda be re-ordered on a simple majority? The rules would seem to be silent if you consider the procedural motions to be an exclusive list.

Otherwise, motions are carried on a simple majority, I move that agenda item 6a be taken now.
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Renewing Party Democracy

Renewing Party Democracy

The LP NEC is having an away day to discuss reforming its rules and internal democracy, mainly in the light of the massive increase in membership to more than half a million members.  Here’s my manifesto for a member led party, I hope to supplement it with some ideas on the use of IT to aid in policy development and expressing the membership voice, but in terms of rules reform