The social was rather packed last night. Unlike the 2012 conference where I started optimistic and wound up as depressed the following day after an evening where caucus members were chasing voting delegates around a nearly empty social. This was followed by a incredibly silly set of stories from caucus asserting that a vote about how leaders were to be selected by members was somehow a evil plot. Talk about pandering to the media with their need for a story…
So far I have started this conference somewhat more optimistic. But I keep waiting for the other shoe to fall.
0905: Moira Coatsworth starts with a worker speech detailing the current results of the party renewal that she has been fostering. The 75% increase in party membership this year (so far) compared to the end of last year being a good example. A large part of this has been reaching to the Labour ulterior to get involved in the leadership debates. But the ongoing review of the party that she and David Shearer sponsored after the 2011 election and the development of the policy platform over the last year has also been keeping people in the party.
0930: Speeches by the candidates for the Maori vice-president.
0940: On to the policy platform. This is a new development based on a whole lot of work not only over the last year, but also over the last decade especially by Jordan Carter and Grant Robertson. So far I have been impressed by the process taken on even trying to get a 62 page document. Nigel Haworth is running through the amendments from the workshop to the platform.
1030: Ok I must be morphing into the media that my badge asserts that I am. I’m bored. I haven’t had to dodge any blood splatter. The most contentious discussion so far has been from people saying to stop putting redundant crap in the policy platform. Which as they point out needs some size reduction anyway.
1045: There are 89 amendments up before conference that went through the workshops for the policy platform yesterday. They have gotten through nearly 60 of them already. I think that for the first time in my memory they are going to get through the lot in the time allocated. Grant Robertson is the latest example of someone pointing out that cluttering up the document with specificities isn’t that good an idea.
BTW: does anyone have a link to the electronic copy of the amendments for people to have a look at ? I can’t see it on the net. When is the NZLP site going to get a useable search? Do they need some help?