Monday, 21 September 2015

One member, one vote

You lose some, you win some. At least the OMOV motions were successful. Now all members, not just those approved by local parties, may vote on policy motions. It also enfranchises those in dysfunctional parties.

There was a noisy minority, which turned out to be a small minority when the vote was taken, who feared entryism. Mark Pack, summing up, dismissed that with the argument that one-issue entryism was only a danger to small parties. We were already growing, and the extension of the franchise would clearly encourage new members who would, in the words of another speaker, reward the party with commitment, enthusiasm and loyalty.

The other major objection was that only those who could afford to attend conference would take advantage of their new rights. Those who hold this view should realise that that is the case now, as I have moaned over the years. Something should be done about this - the development of secure online voting, or even online conferencing, or a charitable contribution to deserving cases to attend physical conference - but these considerations are outwith the principle of greater democracy.

As to large parties swamping decision-making, one can point to the year or so since the York decision to hugely increase the previous representation numbers. No such swamping has occurred.

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