Help us to campaign for a more democratic ALP
Unitarian Church 110 Grey St East Melbourne
October 08, 2016 at 2pm - 3pm
Dear friends of Open Labor,
The July Federal election, not to mention the tumult in the British Labour Party, and don't even talk about the political upheavals in the US and Europe -- have given us all plenty to think about regarding the future of the ALP and progressive politics everywhere.
A number of people from various ALP reform groups and progressive think tanks have talked for a while about how we can all work together for maximum effectiveness, while maintaining our separate roles and emphases.
At the same time, Open Labor has been talking about helping to renew the campaign that Eric Dearricott and others took to National Conference last year to give ordinary party members 50 per cent of the vote for Labor's Senate pre-selection candidates, and to ensure Victorian Labor members are allowed the right they already possess in name, if not in reality, to vote in the pre-selections of state Upper House candidates.
These would be a hugely important democratic reforms, giving ordinary members a real say in who represents us in the Senate and state Upper Houses. It would give us a chance to influence policy, since candidates would have to explain to voters inside the party what their policy positions were and why they held them. The Senate, in particular, should be a place that attracts Labor's finest policy brains. Finally, the reform would be good for the party, encouraging people to take out or renew membership.
The 2015 National Conference came close to endorsing a 50 per cent ordinary member vote for Senate candidates, but factional disputes at conference killed the motion. It's time for ordinary members to pick up the campaign.
To consider these two objectives -- closer co-operation among reform groups and a campaign for an ordinary member vote in Senate and Upper House preselections -- Open Labor, Local Labor and the Independents are holding an open meeting at 2 pm on Saturday October 8 at the Unitarian Church 110 Grey St East Melbourne.
The meeting will discuss how in the lead up to the Victorian state conference in November and beyond, pro-democracy activists can work together and with others across the party to achieve vital reform.
Eric Dearricott of the Independents will report to the meeting on the consequences of the massive growth in Central branch membership since central members were given internal voting rights in mid 2014. Some changes to these rights are listed for consideration at the November State Conference.
We hope to see you there!