STATEMENT BY THE ALP DEMOCRACY PROJECT FOR 2016-17 STATE CONFERENCE
The ALP Democracy Project is a campaign by the Independents group, Open Labor, Local Labor and other supporters of democratic ALP reform to elect to the Victorian State Conference delegates who will work for all members of the Party and for internal democracy.
Our Party must be more responsive, open and transparent with its members.
State Office’s failure to support and engage members and branches is reflected in an all time low in 2015 of just 200 members joining the Party via local branches. And half of the 2000 who joined Central Branch in 2014 have decided not to renew their membership.
The failure of the Administrative Committee to ensure an independent and thorough investigation of the online payment of membership renewals using anonymous prepaid cards lays bare the deficiencies of factional members of key Party bodies such as the Administrative, Public Office Selection, Agenda and Rules Revision Committees. These members, from both major factions, vote as they are bound by their factional caucus not according to their own conscience and considered view.
ALP Democracy Project Candidates commit to voting at Conference in accordance with their own personal beliefs and judgements.
They also commit to supporting likeminded candidates in voting for members of key committees elected by Conference delegates, including the Administrative Committee, Public Office Selection Committee, Rules Revision Committee and Agenda Committee.
The ALP Democracy Project candidates for Conference delegate positions commit to seek to:
1. Strengthen member participation in candidate pre-selection by:
Proposing rules changes that will ensure that for the first time in sixteen years local members will be able to vote in the pre-selection of their State Labor Legislative Council candidates.
Ensuring that the voice of local members in the pre-selection of their Federal and State lower house candidates is increased by changing the weighting of their pre-selection votes from 50% local and 50% Public Office Selection Committee (POSC) to 70% local and 30% POSC.
Introducing local member participation in the pre-selection of Senate Candidates via a postal vote of all members across the State with equal weighting with the POSC.
2. Restore party integrity and member voice by:
Tackling the ongoing problem of branch stacking by requiring all membership application and renewal fees to be paid by traceable means and ensuring proper enforcement of this requirement by State Office via independent oversight by Party members
Enforcing genuine secret ballots where no one sees and checks another member’s ballot or fills it in for them in elections at all levels of the Party.
Extending direct participation by Party members in elections for key party positions, such as State President and Vice Presidents, the Administrative Committee.
3. Ensure that the affirmative action national rules changes from the 2015 National Conference are incorporated into the Victorian Rules.
4. In consultation with representatives of unions seek to transform the way unions and individual union members participate in the Party so that it is the union members who determine outcomes not solely the Union Executive or Secretary.
5. Ensure that direct participation of members in the election of this State’s National Conference delegates, a reform negotiated by ALP Democracy Project delegates at the 2015 National Conference, is incorporated in the Victorian Rules
6. Restructure and re-orient State Office so that Party members, branches and committees are given real support and genuine involvement in the Party’s activities, policies and decision-making.
Open Labor has candidates running in Melbourne, Batman, Goldstein and Gellibrand.