++Conference passes “One member one vote” for party elections and conference votes


We have got there! We have at last completed our arduous journey over mountain, through thick jungle and through crocodile infested waters. We have at last arrived in the Elysian Fields!

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • When does this have effect? Would it apply to upcoming regional conferences for example?

  • Peter Hayes 21st Sep '15 - 7:15pm

    Now we need the details; how will various sides in a debate be given access to members, not all elderly members have computers, how much time will be given to any debate, how long will members have to be registered and will we be using independent scrutinisers for the count. Good idea in theory but now we need the small print.

  • How do you get to exercise your vote if you don’t go to conference?

  • Dave Orbison 22nd Sep '15 - 8:41am

    Can someone clarify what the full consequences are of this motion? Does it truly mean OMOV (a good thing in my view) and does it mean all members whether or not they attend conference etc? Won’t this be undermined by Joe Otten’s amendment to give the Leader a right of veto? (Apologies Joe if I have misunderstood your amendment).

  • Nick T Nick Thornsby 22nd Sep '15 - 9:26am

    Dave – it does away with the conference representative system. Elections to party committees will now be an all-member ballot.

    Any member can now vote at conference, but as far as I know there are no current proposals to allow voting by non-attending members, but hopefully that can be the next stage of the process.

    I am not sure that this really makes much of a difference to Joe’s amendment, which is about giving the leader the same power as FPC to decide not to include a particular party policy in the manifesto.

  • Neil Sandison 22nd Sep '15 - 9:39am

    Local parties will need more detail .Foe example does this remove the responsibility of conference reps to report back to their local constituency party ?

  • Nick T Nick Thornsby 22nd Sep '15 - 10:02am

    Neil – there will be no such thing as conference reps as I understand it.

  • @nickthornsby Surely its not about ‘giving the Leader’ the same power as FPC. It’s about giving the Leader the power to ignore and over ride FPC.

  • http://www.markpack.org.uk/134611/one-member-one-vote-what-next/

    Mark Pack’s got an article up about the broad impact.

    More open policy making is an excellent thing. It’s going to have very unpredictable knock-on effects, but more openness hopefully means less policy gaffs in the future.

  • Dave Orbison 22nd Sep '15 - 3:50pm

    Nick/Huw – thanks. Seems like not quote at OMOV party wide but a step in the right direction.I hope all members will be able to vote of policy issues going forward and, by the way, without veto by a Committee, Shadow Cabinet or Leader. Also, I hope that Labour will adopt an equally wide sweeping change to allow OMOV. Total democracy is ultimately the only way to determine issues that govern us.

  • Laurence Cox 22nd Sep '15 - 7:07pm

    One of the arguments made was that in some parts of the country, the local Party organisation is so shambolic that even people who want to go to Conference cannot be sent as voting Representatives. It is not a problem I have ever experienced as my local party has always had over 100 members (and most years several times that), so the principal problem has been finding people willing to go. I cannot remember us ever having to have an election for conference reps, and some people only applied so they could vote in the committee elections.

    OMOV for members attending conference is OK; there is still a risk of conference being packed, but I cannot see anyone being interested enough in anything our Party decides between now and 2020 to be worth trying to pack a conference. The problem with extending it to all members is how do you deal with those not present at Conference. At the moment, at the end of a debate there is often a complex series of votes. On Trident we had a vote to choose between Amendments A1 and A2, then a YES/NO vote on A1 then a vote on the amended motion. You could allow members to sit at home, stream video to their laptops and vote electronically in real time, but straight away you eliminate the people who cannot do this because, for example, they are at work.

    OMOV for all members works well if people don’t have to vote in real time. For a mutual that I am a member of I simply have to reply YES or NO to the appointment of Directors and Auditors before the AGM, when my vote is counted along with that of those present. I would not want to have to nominate the Chairman to cast my vote or another member present at the meeting.

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