The early actions of party administrators Jenny Macklin and Steve Bracks are promising. They are communicating clearly with members, they have set out an ambitious agenda, and they are taking the first steps to achieve it.
Party reformers have long argued that branch-stacking can be reduced by restricting membership applications and renewals to payment by traceable means.
The recent Bracks and Macklin 18 August report to members does not actually use the term, “traceable means”, in relation to membership payments. However, the Administrators said they had advised the party’s National Executive to “prohibit cash and cash-like payments for memberships and membership renewals.”
Secondly, the National Executive should “create processes in the short-term to ensure the Branch membership comprises genuine, consenting, and self-funding members, and that members actions are in line with the values of the Party.”
The National Executive has resolved to support these amendments, the Administrators told members.
The hardest work and toughest decisions around party reform lie ahead, but this is an encouraging start, and should give hope that we are poised at a moment of substantial change.