#Labour2012 Voting for democracy

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 pm, November 16th, 2012 - 32 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

There’s a few remits on the floor at conference today that are going to be make or break for the future of the Labour party. They’re all about democratising the party which is something I think needs to happen if it’s going to survive and thrive.

Obviously I can’t tell people how to vote but I can tell you how I’m going to vote on three critical remits about how Labour is led and why I’m going to vote for them.
These are:

Remit 297 A (e). I’ll be voting for Amendment G. which means the caucus will not be able to dictate by a majority whether or not members can vote on the leadership of the party in 2013. It will mean that the signatures of 40% of MPs will be all that’s needed for members to have their say. It’s 20% in Britain

The second is Remit 297 A (c). I’ll be voting for Amendment C. This is very similar to the one above. It’ll make sure that after every election a majority of caucus can’t stop members from having their say on the leadership.

Finally I will be voting for Remit 297 (d). This is the remit that will finally give members some say on who our leader it. The split will be 40% for caucus, 40% for members, and 20% for affiliated unions.

The parliamentary arm of the party is there to represent us and I think this conference will go down in history as the one where we started to rebuild it as a democratic force.


32 comments on “#Labour2012 Voting for democracy”

  1. Brilliantly short and simple MJH! Let’s see if enough members understand that a vote for anything higher than the 40% trigger in caucus is a vote for the status quo.

  2. LynW 2

    Clear, concise and simple. Thanks MJH. I am following this with great interest. I am hoping to get there tomorrow to experience Labour in action and hopefully witness this conference “go down in history as the one where we started to rebuild it as a democratic force.”

  3. Good stuff MJH and well reasoned.

  4. hush minx 4

    I hope we are about to witness a new compact being born between the caucus and the party. Labour will transform. Wish i was there – But if you are and you are wireless, share this post around!

  5. tc 5

    Nice summary, now or never, win back the party and get some connections with the voters and the grass roots members who do the hard yards or face a united future styled shirvel into oblivion.

  6. KhandallaMan 6

    297 A starts on page 55

  7. There is also 297 amendment G which mandates a contest next year unless 60% of caucus votes otherwise.

  8. Tom Gould 8

    Can someone explain Labour’s new democratic voting system to elect the leader to me? Say there is a leadership election. As I understand it, there are various categories of members. Some get to cast an individual vote on the one person one vote one value basis. Other get their votes aggregated and cast on their behalf by someone else. Others have one person one vote, but a different value. Or does the new system work differently?

  9. Doug 9

    Shearer’s death warrant has just been signed.

    • Pete 9.1

      He’s a good man, but it’s clear that he doesn’t do well as party leader. I could definitely see him in a role like Minister of Justice. I eagerly await the opportunity to give due consderation to candidates in a future leadership contest.

      • gobsmacked 9.1.1

        If he hadn’t spent the week before the conference dismissing and insulting his critics, might the voting have gone differently?

        Maybe he motivated some people to come out from behind their “darkened curtains” …

        • IrishBill

          Ah yes, the darkened curtains. He didn’t seem so unhappy about anonymity when Phil and Annette used it to talk to Duncan.

  10. KJT 10

    Considering the stunned silence from Labour when democracy is even mentioned I do not think they are any more keen on it than National.

    This sort of proves it.

    Democracy is one person one vote. Not Caucus having 40% of the vote.

    Mind you most politicians seem rather happy with our rotating dictatorship, so long as they get their turn. Or even a comfy sinecure in opposition.

    We have had plenty of examples over the years of the contempt politicians hold towards the rest of us.

    Note that; in California, citizens now are able to vote against their original three strikes rules, now it is a proven failure. We did not even get to vote on it in the first place. Let alone the proven failure of asset sales.

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      Au contraire! An hour ago the Labour party became the most democratic political party in NZ. One member, one vote works well in, say, United Future, where the entire membership can meet in a cupboard. The NZLP is a broad church, and is structured to reflect its history and its future. The affiliates, who founded the party, still have a significant say. The MP’s, who represent the party in Parliament, still have a significant say. The members, the lifeblood of the party, now have a hugely improved say on where we head and what policies we promote.

      As delegate Len Richards said earlier, today is the day we take the party back. That job is done, the next step is convincing kiwi voters that we can change NZ for the better as well.

      • KJT 10.1.1

        Democracy does not mean one person 1/100 of a vote. 40 people 40% of the vote.

        Greens are still the only party with democratic ordering of their party list.

        Though real democracy, nationwide would be better.
        120 people should not be able to decide against the wishes of the majority of the people whose lives they are affecting.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Nope, KJT. Your proposal disenfranchises thousands of kiwi workers who endorse the LP through their unions. You diminish democracy with your idea.

  11. Michael 11

    One vote for each financial member on all matters affecting the party, including its leadership. Anything less is undemocratic.

  12. Doug 12

    How many MPs in camp David only 14 MPs required to start a revolt could be fun.

  13. Fisiani 13

    So the unions have wrested control from Shearer and only 14 labour MPs needed to call a vote that would then install a leader not wanted by the majority of caucus. Shearer is dead man walking.

    • Doug 13.1

      Democracy under Attack!!

      • Jim Nald - Once Was National 13.1.1

        Caucus is there for the Party membership, because of and representative of the Party membership.
        The Party membership is not there to be beholden to or be the plaything of caucus.

        • Fisiani

          Absolutely right Comrade!!!!

          • Jim Nald - Once Was National

            Labour should be able to do better than National’s serial and compulsive stabbings, behind the curtains and away from their membership (what membership?): from Jim Bolger being knifed by Jenny Shipley, Shipley being stabbed in the back by Bill English, English being subject to a coup by Brash, with Brash being dealt to by the smiling assassin. Who is next to lead National’s dark and opaque art of politically killing off the party leader? Joyce? Collins?

  14. Fortran 14

    What it means is that in February Shearer out, Cunliffe in, with Little as Deputy.
    Robertson will not be amused.

    • Fisiani 14.1

      Exactly. A lame duck leader as of now, no matter how his speech goes tomorrow, and every summer barbecue conversation till February is plotting where to position the deckchairs.

      • gobsmacked 14.1.1


        You and your fellow KeyFanBoys had better make the most of it. Shearer’s chances of leading Labour into the election have just gone from slim to none.

        As have Key’s re-election prospects. You were desperate for Shearer to stay. Prepare for disappointment.

  15. AmaKiwi 15

    I have just returned from the conference.

    Delegates are ANGRY.

    The Standard has been an extraordinarily accurate reflection of what the delegates are feeling and saying.

    During a break in the debates one delegate said to me, “With this sound system I am having difficulty understanding everything that is being said. But the smell of blood is unmistakeable.”

  16. Great result, democracy in action,well done everyone 🙂
    Shearer should stand down tomorrow,but on stuff he is saying he is staying, he has the support, he says,how blind can he be ?

    • gobsmacked 16.1

      “I fight on, I fight on to win”

      (Margaret Thatcher, 1990, after a bad result in the leadership vote)

      The next day … she resigned.

      It’s just the way of politics. You can’t say “Ooh, I’ll get back to you, maybe I’m 75% likely to hang on, who knows?” Shearer knows he’s a goner, his new role is to help Robertson beat Cunliffe. (The ABC faction will be spelling it out to him if he’s too stupid to work it out).

  17. Rhinocrates 17

    Well, this is all very encouraging. The chances of the Labour Party winning in 2014 have just increased, and most importantly, the changes of it being a Labour Party in more than name. Not only shall I experience joy, I may also permit myself to indulge in schadenfreude… actually, to be honest, I often put that first.

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