> STV approved – keeping unfair help for Capital – but not for The Left
> The switch from first-past-the-post to a single transferable vote (STV) system was passed by the NEC recently (on 30th June.)
It will affect nine representatives of local parties – CLP’s : less than a third of the whole NEC body. Under STV party members will rank the candidates for in order of preference. The change will apply to elections this year.
It was opined that Keir initiated this vote in the hope it will reduce the power of leftwing slate. In comments by Campaign for LP Democracy (CLPD), against the reform , they argue that it could place more value on ‘ name recognition’ than politics. A CLPD spokesperson said: “Many members will be deeply disappointed at this divisive decision by the party’s executive, to fiddle the methods of its own election. Other activists on the Labour left say the new voting system would make it “less likely that they could ever again win all nine places in the members’ section, as Momentum did during the Jeremy Corbyn era.”
But the solid legal argument against the decision is that members have not been consulted via party conference, with four party members threatening legal action for this reason: it amounts to a “constitutional amendment” and that according to the party rulebook these proposals should be approved by conference as the “supreme authority”.
Keir Starmer faces this legal threat from: Sophia Bolton, James Smith, Giovanna Dunmall and Ollie Hill – backed by Unite, ASLEF, BFAWU and FBU – instructed Bindmans LLP to send new general secretary David Evans a five-page legal letter. The members are “serious” about their action , stating after the meeting that they “intend to take it forward”.
Advocates of the STV reform have countered that it does not constitute a rule change, however; as the rulebook actually states that NEC elections should be “conducted to guidelines laid down by the NEC”.
After the meeting, NEC rep Huda Elmi ( Momentum) tweeted that the NEC had “decided to wage war on member democracy”,
The NEC elections will now go ahead on the following timetable according to sources:
Friday 10 July 2020, noon – Deadline for candidate statement to be submitted to the ‘candidate portal’
Saturday 11 July 2020 – CLP, trade union, Labour group and individual young members nominations open
Sunday 27 September, midnight – CLP, trade union and Labour group nomination deadline
Monday 19 October 2020 – Ballot dispatch begins
Thursday 12 November, noon – Ballot closes
Friday 13 November – Results announced
CLP’s will be provided with a ‘Virtual’ online platform to facilitate nominations for the NEC elections. They will have between July 11th and September 27th, allowing for a ‘trial run’ of the nomination meeting if needed. (NEC rep Rachel Garnham proposed that local parties and branches should be allowed to resume business by meeting virtually, but it was defeated .)
Kavabean2 on reddit analysis is : They want to eliminate any unfairness that may help the left while *keeping all unfairness that helps Capital.*
With the current ‘most votes’ CLP election system, the left, by focusing its energy using slates, can be over-represented in the 9 NEC CLP reps.
” The entire NEC is rigged to represent the controlling party hierarchy (Capital) and unions. The members had one minor advantage which was the use of slates to increase the representation of the left.
That is being taken away.” :
Of the 39 seats on the NEC most are centrist and capital-controlled seats
Under STV centrist membership will get at least 3/9 seats, which is fair in itself but stamps out any chance of the left gaining a controlling ‘faction’ the way centrism/Capital can.
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