Identifying what divides us prior to September

Internal democracy and constitution Commission

Yet more controversy!

Hi all

Who said party rules and constitutions are boring!?!

We now have two alternative draft constitutions on the table

Working Draft 4 – initially drafted by ourselves and heavily amended in the light of the many comments and contributions (we will be incorporating current comments shortly into Working Draft 5)

Second version of Sean Thompson’s Alternative Draft Constitution, also amended in the light of comments

At the forthcoming Policy Working Groups meeting in Manchester (28th September) which we would urge you to attend, we will have a chance to meet face-to-face and consider the controversial issues that have arisen over the course of these discussions. In order to ensure that this is fair and balanced – one person’s common sense is another person’s controversy! – we are posting here the main areas of contention.

PLEASE NOTE: WE HAVE DELIBERATELY EXCLUDED ‘AIMS’ AS IT iS SO CONTROVERSIAL THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE OF REACHING A CONSENSUS AND IT WILL BE VOTED ON SEPARATELY AT THE CONFERENCE.

If you feel any outstanding issues are not included here please say and they will be added to the list

All the best

Richard Murgatroyd and James Youd

(Co-convenors)

 

Outstanding controversial issues

1. Should LU be a one member one vote party or federation of groups? How far should we apply the principle of OMOV?

2. If someone is a member of another political party or group should they be allowed to be a member of LU? If so, on what basis?

3. What organisational structure should operate at English regional/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish level – should LU be an English only party?

4. Should we move to a delegate based conference and if so when?

5. Should we have a traditional style national executive (as Sean T’s proposal) or a ‘collective leadership’ comprised of directly elected office holders and regional reps (Working Draft 4 proposal)?

6. Should we have 50% representation of men and women at all levels of representation, including for national office holders and national Principal Speakers?

7. How do we ensure internal office holders are accountable and unhealthy concentrations of power are avoided?

8. How do we ensure people elected to external positions (MPs, councillors etc) do not become corrupted by careerism and carry out the wishes of LU members?

9. Should platforms, caucuses and sections be allowed? If so, should the members of these have special privileges, eg right to extra representation on regional/national bodies, extra rights to propose and vote on policy?

10. Should we have provision for Trade Union affiliation and if so on what basis?

11. Should oppressed – LGBT, disabled, black and minority ethnic groups – have privileged representation/policy making rights as separate sections?

12. How should we seek to use e-democracy and the internet for internal elections, debate and voting on policy?

13. How should the Constitution(s) and any amendments be debated at the November founding conference?


18 comments

18 responses to “Identifying what divides us prior to September”

  1. Hoom says:

    How we relate to members of other parties (Greens, Labour Left, TUSC) seems to be somewhat contentious.

    • Larry says:

      Hi Hoom,
      Aliteration! We don’t get much of that nowadays.

      Problems? Okay, Hoom, let’s have a go!!

      Point #1 – The ‘Great Divide’, (North/South), continues to perpetuate itself in Left Unity. Witness where the November Conference is being held. Who made this decision? the centre of the UK is located, approximately, in The Lakes District. When are we going to make a start, even if it is only a visual representation, at decentralizing power and influence in the UK??

      Point #2 – Where are all the contemporary Socialists? We’ve got a bunch of reactionary Socialists, (Communists), masquerading as Socialists! Why not institute complete transparency, by identifying the Socialist Platform Statement, as the Communist Platform Statement? Why? Because that is exactly what the Statement is referring to. The agenda is to bring Communism to power, not Socialism. I have nothing peronally against Communists. They have every right, in a true Democracy, to participate in political life.

      I do, however, oppose being treated like a political ‘muppet’, or anyone attemting to ‘zoom’ me. This is exactly what happened with the German Socialist, (Right Wing Socialism?), Workers’ Party. It was a political front for Hitler’s hidden agenda, of turning Germany into a Totalitarian state.

      I am a Contemporary Socialist, not a Communist!! I will resist vigorously, and in equal measure, any attempts to pull Socailism to the Left or the Right! Socialists belong at the Centre of the Political Continuum. We claim it to be be our rightful place.

      • Guy H says:

        On Point#1 Larry – I think we are addressing this – out of the NCG meetings we’ve had since we set up, only half have been in London – and this will be the case in November – we’ve had NCG meetings in Doncaster and Birmingham and the policy conference at the end of the month will be in Manchester. This is absolutely an important factor and one that should continue to be addressed, but I would defend the decision to hold the founding conference in London as at this point, we want as many people to come as possible – whilst we’re still such a young organisation it is important to make our founding conference as accessible as possible – and unfortunately at this point that means in London.

  2. SeanT says:

    I’m surprised that you think that there is any controversy about the first issue on the list. I would have thought that there isa close to a consensus as we are ever going to get in an organisation made up of stroppy argumentative socialists that they new party should be an individual membership based organisation rather than some sort of federation of groups like TUSC, SA etc. And I’m not aware of anyone arguing for some sort of alternative to one member one vote – what sort of alternative could there possibly be?

  3. TimP says:

    I think this is a good way to help move the discussion forward. I have a few thoughts on some of the issues,

    1. Should LU be a one member one vote party or federation of groups? How far should we apply the principle of OMOV?

    One Member One Vote.

    2. If someone is a member of another political party or group should they be allowed to be a member of LU? If so, on what basis?

    If it’s a party that is in potential competition for votes with LU, no. Another political group yes, unless it involves supporting candidates against LU.

    3. What organisational structure should operate at English regional/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish level – should LU be an English only party?

    The coverage must surely depend on the demographic spread of the party membership. But is it worth thinking about whether, at this stage, we actually need any level between branch and national leadership.

    5. Should we have a traditional style national executive (as Sean T’s proposal) or a ‘collective leadership’ comprised of directly elected office holders and regional reps (Working Draft 4 proposal)?

    I prefer collective leadership directly elected (though no strong feelings, except against having two Principal Speakers).

    6. Should we have 50% representation of men and women at all levels of representation, including for national office holders and national Principal Speakers?

    Only if the elections go that way. I think having 40% minimum is more sensible.

    7. How do we ensure internal office holders are accountable and unhealthy concentrations of power are avoided?

    Limited periods in office, direct election by the membership, open meetings, full minutes published. Measures taken to make it as easy as possible for maximum participation by the membership.

    8. How do we ensure people elected to external positions (MPs, councillors etc) do not become corrupted by careerism and carry out the wishes of LU members?

    Corruption can never be eradicated and takes many forms. We need to have selection processes that are actively looking for character, and experience of life beyond politics. We need to require all elected representatives to give a public annual detailed account of their actions as representatives.

    9. Should platforms, caucuses and sections be allowed? If so, should the members of these have special privileges, eg right to extra representation on regional/national bodies, extra rights to propose and vote on policy?

    Yes, they should be allowed. But no special rights beyond those suggested in 11 below.

    10. Should we have provision for Trade Union affiliation and if so on what basis?

    Yes but no special rights to determine policy. Perhaps treat as akin to sections.

    11. Should oppressed – LGBT, disabled, black and minority ethnic groups – have privileged representation/policy making rights as separate sections?

    As sections perhaps some special rights to make direct representations to the national council and to lobby membership. No voting or decision-making privileges.

    13. How should the Constitution(s) and any amendments be debated at the November founding conference?

    This could be a nightmare. If each sentence is going to be fought over, it could last well beyond 30 November and end up with a dog’s breakfast with contradictory clauses! There are two aspects to the constitution proper. There is the aims part, and there is the rules and mechanisms part. In terms of rules and mechanisms, I think the founding conference should indicate its broad preferences but I think an elected committee is going to be needed to do the detailed work. The aims will be largely reflective of the most supported platform. Perhaps a constitution aims subcommittee which includes representatives of the most supported platform.

  4. SeanT says:

    Having commented on the first issue on the list, I’ll comment on the last!

    I think that Tim is right about separating the aims from the rest of the sections constitution, which are (or should be) specific technical/legal descriptions of how the party should be organised and operate. The danger of not doing so is that (socialists being the awkward indisciplined rabble that we are) if we have, say, two and half hours to discuss the constitution at the founding conference, two and a quarter will be taken up by trying to discuss six different drafts of the aims and a dozen different amendments to each.

    My suggestion is that we leave a statements of aims out of the constitution entirely and go from the name of the party to defining its rules for membership. A statement of the party’s aims could then be come a completely separate item for debate, preferably after I’ve gone out for a cup of tea.

    As far as the overall debate is concerned, if we have, as we do now, two drafts that have different approaches on a number of key sections, perhaps we could jointly agree a summary of the key points of agreement and disagreement for members attending the conference and then initially debate those items so that conference could, as Tim suggests, make a decision between the two approaches. Then, any amendments to the draft with majority support could be debated.
    I don’t think we can put off deciding on the details of the constitution until some later date, or refer them to a group to work them out though – we are that group! We must have drafts that are ready to go – the party is going to need national officers, a national committee, an agreed definition of membership, agreed subscription rates etc., etc. the next day.

    I suggest, therefore, that in Manchester we go through the details of each of the drafts to check for loose ends so that we can have a constitution that can come into operation as soon as conference votes for it. I have been doing just that with my draft and it is now in its fourth or fifth iteration!

  5. John Penney says:

    The majority of the entire day in London in May was taken up debating whether to actually even DISCUSS the very general “Statement” proposed to the meeting ! And in the end we “decided” not to ! Like TimP I fear that if it is “open house” for amendments in November to the two distinct constitutions emerging from this Policy Commission process – we will still end up with no constitution and therefore no coherent party. Which will suit those who want us just to be a loose coalition of groups just fine ! I hope the Conference arrangements group for the November Conference rules that the proposed constitutions have to be voted on “as are presented “. after all everyone who wants to participate in this process NOW, can do – but not many have. “Keeping their powder dry” for November ?

    Just as a request for information – will attendance at the Manchester 28th Sept meeting be restricted to us actual subs paying (Founder) members , as with the November Conference ? I really do hope so. Open access for anyone who cares to simply register online(but not necessarily pay subs or be in any other way committed to Left Unity as a project)to our fundamental party policy/constitution working parties is a real barrier to coherent policy development at present.

    I’m not convinced that a day long meeting in Manchester will move us significantly forward either . If there are fundamental political disagreements amongst the various policy working group participants – as there blatantly currently are – the Manchester meeting cannot help but be confrontational not co-operative. With no credible democratic basis for decision-making via voting at the Manchester meeting it will be hard to avoid deadlock emerging quickly on every key issue. “With goodwill on all sides we’ll make progress” is the obvious riposte. Unfortunately I’ve never seen “goodwill” trump political “agendas” on the Left yet I’m afraid.

  6. Richard Murgatroyd says:

    Hi all

    The issue of how to vote on the in November drafts given that we have to make a decision and will have very little time to do so is really difficult.

    AIMS

    My understanding is that the aims part of the constitution will be one of the options considered along with those of the platforms

    AMENDMENTS

    We all need to think very carefully whether allowing amendments – its clearly desirable but is it viable? Tim and John’s points carry weight – we could easily be bogged down in a plethora of very detailed and complex amendments.

    My gut response at this point is broadly in line with what I think Tim and John are suggesting, which is:

    a) get a constitutional structure in place, however imperfect
    b) assume this is effectively an interim constitution and over the next year(s) allow the normal democratic procedures apply and amend the hell out of it, as necessary. Remember, we have set the bar for amending the rules fairly lowly as a decision of the National Conference as the sovereign body within the constitution.

    Errrrm… still need to think about this.

    SEPTEMBER MEETING

    Regarding September it is open to all and although we hope to take indicative votes this meeting can’t decide which of the two drafts we have on the table has ‘majority support’ as I think Sean is suggesting. But it can raise issues and suggestions that the authors of the two drafts on the table can consider, especially if we are serious about trying to reach consensus…

    CONVERGENCE

    So in the meantime I think its important that we try to converge our two alternative drafts as much as possible. We will be redrafting Working Draft 5 over the next week with this in mind – see my earlier response to Sean’s draft and his proposed standing orders setting out some of the parts of his we intend to adopt etc

    Other suggestsions and corrections will also be incorporated.

    So it may be that actually the really important differences between them narrow down to the issues of

    a) the leadership structure
    b) the national conference
    c) provision for e-democracy
    d) inclusion of some sort of ‘Safer Spaces’ document as a ‘best practice’ that could trigger a disputes resolution process set out in the rules (the nature of which by the way, I think we should be close to a consensus on)

    Important all but not (from my point of view at least)the stuff that walkouts and splits are made of!

    Best

    Richard

  7. Richard Murgatroyd says:

    Hi again

    Have had a chance to think more carefully about issue 13 and have concluded that while there is a chance that John and Tim are right – the whole thing could be bogged down in November and at worse lead to no clear result – the option of just putting the two alternatives forward on a kind of take it or leave it basis would be too undemocratic. Any decision would lack legitimacy. It would also pass up the chance of branches to point out and suggest amendments to fundamental problems and issues we haven’t spotted. Sometimes the closer you are to a thing the less clearly its seen.

    So I would propose that we work on the assumption that after the September meeting we send out our two alternative ‘final’ drafts for consideration and amendment in the normal way. Hopefully – as John put it ‘goodwill will trump political agendas’ and that the Standing Orders to manage the business of conference are robust enough to successfully achieve a democratic and decisive outcome.

    Best

    Richard

  8. SeanT says:

    No Richard, I wasn’t at all suggesting that our meeting on Saturday week should make any sort of choice between the (at the moment) two drafts – let’s hope another couple don’t arrive on the day! What I was suggesting that we

    a) ensure that both drafts are as implementable as possible right from the off. We aren’t going to have time at the founding conference to consider a load of drafting amendments that are there because there are omissions or inconsistencies in the drafts which might render them unworkable in practice. We do, as you say need to get a constitutional structure in place, even if imperfect, but if it consistent and comprehensive it will at least mean that we don’t discover after a couple of months that the constitution says two conflicting things in different places (it has been known to happen) or won’t allow us to do something that we want to legally. So, for example, we need to be explicit who will have the legally necessary roles of Data protection Officer and Leader in both draft, not just one of them.

    b) Focus, as you suggest, on the key areas of divergence to see if there are any issues that we can resolve ahead of the founding conference. My list of these also includes a couple of issues concerning membership on top of what you have suggested, by the way.

    I think that your idea of carving something out of the safer spaces document that could be a model of good practice that could be used – as a guide rather than a trigger, I would have thought – in a disputes resolution process is a good one.

    I witnessed the collapse of the SLP into a tiny rump as a result of Arthur simply imposing what turned out to be an grotesquely skewed and dishonest constitution without any debate, and the unedifying carve up by the SWP and Galloway of any attempt to have democratic involvement in the drawing up of Respect’s constitution (and look where that led). So while this whole business of drafting a constitution may seem, quite understandably, a tedious and occasionally contentious process to some, I find the serious and conscientious drafting work that has been done and the fraternal and positive nature of (most) of the debate that has flowed from it extremely refreshing and it makes me pretty optimistic about the future of this initiative of ours. Perhaps this time goodwill really will trump sectarian political agendas.

  9. Guy H says:

    For Point 10 above – I’ve been thinking about a possible mechanism for trade union affiliation within the constraints of OMOV and not giving the TU bureaucracy any say in the structure of the party, but that gives the unions some say in policy. I think it could be a reasonable way of engaging the trade unions and an easy escape route from their Labour ties. Let me know what you think:

    [addition to 3b – types of membership]
    iii. Affiliated membership for trade union members. Members may be affiliated to Left Unity by their trade union, for an annual fee decided by the Annual Conference [initially £10]. In return they may be represented by their union in Policy Commissions as set out in [11b(ii)].

    [addition to 11b – Policy Commissions]
    ii. Policy commissions (areas of responsibility delegated by Annual Conference) will operate in the 6 months preceding the Annual Conference to create detailed policy proposals to be voted on at the Annual Conference.
    Each policy commission will have 50 places, 30 of which are reserved for full members of Left Unity who have volunteered and been elected to take part in the commission (15 men and 15 women), and 20 of which are reserved for trade union representatives (10 men and 10 women). Each trade union reserved place initially represents 5000 affiliated members. At the point at which no trade union reserved places remain on a policy commission, places will be divided proportionally to the number of allocated affiliated members.
    The policy commissions will be convened by one man and one woman out of the 30 full members of Left Unity involved on the policy commission and elected by the full membership of the party. The convenors of all policy commissions will meet to ensure the style of the policy statements is consistent.
    The policy commissions will engage with new forms of communication and the internet to ensure maximum participation in the process. Each commission will meet and vote on a policy statement for submission to the Annual Conference, which will be circulated to branches no less than 2 months prior to the Annual Conference. Amendments may be submitted as usual through the conference structures outlined in [9].
    EDIT: Individuals may only participate in one policy commission. All discussions and minutes will be circulated to branches and made available on the party website.

    • Richard Murgatroyd says:

      Hi Guy (and all)

      I think this could be a sensible way forward in principle that meets the worry about giving undue weight to unrepresentative trade union representatives – if that makes sense – and allows us to build bridges to trade unions and other campaigning groups

      But there are some potential issues and problems with implementation though:

      1. There are proposals for national spokespeople in the Working Draft for national spokespeople (one man and woman) as you suggest, to be annually elected by all members and presumably these must have a full role in the policy making process – see section on National Council. In areas without an obvious pair of individual spokespeople I think it would be good practice to ensure that there is representation from the National Council so policy making and implementation is joined up.

      2. I think 20 trade union members out of 50 possible members of a policy commission is too high a proportion. I would say 5-10 would be a more realistic number unless trade union reps are to skew the process

      3. Given the demands of policy making it might also be desirable to have reps from bona fide community and interest/pressure groups relevant to the policy area eg disability groups etc

      4. Think idea of internet discussions is good

      5. Bit concerned about the practical implications of holding more national elections of all members for the convenors – while thats clearly a good idea in principle all elections are expensive and hard to administer…? Is there another way that still ensures some democratic legitimacy> Could we appeal for people to register for the policy commission and then get them to elect the convenors for example…?

      6. What if more than 50 members volunteer – how do you decide who will be full members of the commissions?

      I’m sure there are other issues, but the idea of opening out policy formation and discussion(as opposed to decision)is well worth pursuing.As ever, the devil will be in the detail!

      Best

      Richard

      • Guy H says:

        Thanks for the detailed response Richard

        1. Agreed – the spokespeople should be the convenors and should(/could?*) be tied to the National Council (hadn’t thought of that). (*For me though I think the national council is a bit big as it is. Hmm)
        2. You may be right. It’s a balancing act since the policy commissions don’t have a definitive say in policy as things are laid out above, but instead have a more tenuous say in terms of submitting proposals to conference, which are subject to amendments from branches etc. This may mean the influence they have within these confines will have to be greater. I’m not sure, it all depends how interested trade unions will be in the carrot.
        3. Maybe. Their involvement could be a bit tricky to structure though. Perhaps with advisor status as opposed to actual involvement?
        5. That makes sense – the role should be organisational so doesn’t need a national election – although if they were members of the National Council this would need to be thought about.
        6. As above I forgot to put in that these to be elected nationally too. The problem for me being that minority groups within the party should have a proportional say in policy. (Although with amendments possible at conference this isn’t altogether necessary, and could be replaced by a set number of places per region for which there could be local nominations and elections which may be easier. I don’t think having more than 50 people on a policy commission is practical in terms of engagement/quoracy etc.)

  10. James Youd says:

    To respond to Guy’s point first. It would be a hypothetical clause as I understand it no Trade Union can affiliate its members to any party other than the Labour party at present.
    I agree it would go some way towards getting us that are also trade unionists involved in the new party, if it were possible.
    I still believe the best way of involved trade unionists are by allowing for union branch LU branches.
    On the substantive point of the aims. The conference arrangements committee will have to be very strict with timings of both proposers of motions and speakers. It will have to be decided at the next NCG if this means not taking amendments, I believe that would be an undemocratic manner in which to begin but limit it to two per group. For the party to be constituted it has to have a constitution. Without aims it would seem to outsiders that we have no positions and I can imagine the press having a field day. This is very contentious but if we allow it to drag on it will prevent us from moving on with the project of which 95% we probably all agree.
    I think we can draw a lot from the progressive moves that have been made by Unite in recent years in terms of identity groups. Having LGBT, BME, disability and womens groups that have no formal power but have rights to representation to the NC for instance and organisational support from the NC.
    I think that most of Tim’s points are covered in draft 4 of the constitution and mainly in Sean’s alternative too. We did agree to 50% directly elected 10 of the NCG would be women back in May so though I do not disagree with lowering that bar, others would argue it is a point of principle.
    The draft timetable which has just been sent out to local branch contacts is quite confused when it comes to how we are going to debate this and I will seek to contact those responsible and get a sensible way forward of proceeding.
    On the point about non-LU founding members attending on Saturday, the point is to be open for special interest groups and those who are supporters but have yet to make the jump into becoming a member to participate in policy so it can be a wide and hopefully more interesting debate.
    Best James

  11. annegreagsby says:

    Outstanding controversial issues
    1. Should LU be a one member one vote party or federation of groups? How far should we apply the principle of OMOV?
    Not a federation of groups as too difficult to admin.
    Yes OMOV
    2. If someone is a member of another political party or group should they be allowed to be a member of LU? If so, on what basis?
    If LU decides to be a political party then NO. Other parties wouldn’t permit their members to join and they would be subject to discipline.
    3. What organisational structure should operate at English regional/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish level – should LU be an English only party?
    There must be a Welsh LU like Labour/ Greens/Tories/Libs. Different polices exist in Wales because of devolution .
    Note that the first Irish Left Forum took place on the 18th of May 2013. The aim was to create a space for discussion on left wing politics in Ireland leftunity.org/the-irish-left-forums-first-meeting
    4. Should we move to a delegate based conference and if so when?
    There is an argument that a delegate conference should only be necessary when places need to be rationed However there should be a fund to help achieve a balance of delegates so no one should be excluded on the basis of hardship. Another reason to have delegates is to have gender quotas. In the past two decades gender quotas have been adopted by more than 100 countries globally
    5. Should we have a traditional style national executive (as Sean T’s proposal) or a ‘collective leadership’ comprised of directly elected office holders and regional reps (Working Draft 4 proposal)?
    Haven’t seen this There needs to be very Procedures for nominations and selection to ensure gender equality Gender quotas are necessary too.
    6. Should we have 50% representation of men and women at all levels of representation, including for national office holders and national Principal Speakers?
    To achieve gender balance we must have gender quotas. In the past two decades gender quotas have been adopted by more than 100 countries globally.
    The implementation of party quotas (2) has helped increase women’s representation to 41 per cent in the Netherlands and 40 per cent in Norway, and the use of legislative quotas (1) has increased women’s representation to 39 per cent in both Costa Rica and Argentina
    In the UK, advocates of increased female and minority representation have favoured a move towards PR, but have generally focused their attention on changing the selection process within the current electoral system on the grounds that electoral reform was not high on the political agenda. As a result, the increases in female and minority representation achieved in the UK to date have largely been due to changes in party selection rules.
    In the current Westminster Parliament, the Labour Party has the highest percentage of female MPs, at 31 per cent. There was one woman elected for the Green Party, one for the SNP, one for Sinn Fein, one for the SDLP, one for the Alliance Party and one Independent. None of Plaid Cymru’s three MPs are women, nor any of the DUP’s eight.
    1. Legislative quotas are mandatory provisions (enacted through reforms to electoral laws of constitutions) that apply to all parties. Party quotas were first adopted by social democratic parties in western Europe in the 1970s, whereas legislative quotas first appeared in the 1990s, largely in developing and post-conflict countries in Latin America and Africa, respectively.
    2. Party quotas are measures that are adopted voluntarily by political parties to aim for a certain proportion of female candidates (usually 25–50 per cent). These measures govern either the composition of party lists (in countries with proportional representation electoral systems) or the selection of candidates (in countries with plurality systems).
    7. How do we ensure internal office holders are accountable and unhealthy concentrations of power are avoided?
    We must have procedures/rules/constitution that enshrines equality, gender balance and good practice and the means to deal swiftly with any misconduct. E.G. We must limit terms of office.
    8. How do we ensure people elected to external positions (MPs, councillors etc) do not become corrupted by careerism and carry out the wishes of LU members?
    We can’t ensure that but we can have clear rules to minimise it such as paying a percentage of pay to the party for those on above average earnings, any serious deviance from policy or unacceptable behaviour such as sexual harassment would mean expulsion form the party. We must have a clear egalitarian and equality culture that discourages autocrats and careerists. We particularly must ensure that we have procedures and rules in place so that public representatives are selected fairly and create opportunities for grass roots activists and working class representatives. Perhaps we should exclude for e.g. politics graduates who have have had no real work experience. We should expect some years of experience in the workplace. All candidates should have access to the party’s equality training programme..
    9. Should platforms, caucuses and sections be allowed? If so, should the members of these have special privileges, eg right to extra representation on regional/national bodies, extra rights to propose and vote on policy?
    We should allow platforms or sections – I dislike the word ‘caucuses’ with ts American associations. Equality policy and procedures should ensure representation. I suggest that all sections should have the right to submit a view on proposed policy/constitution etc before it is agreed.
    10. Should we have provision for Trade Union affiliation and if so on what basis?
    Not possible because of trade union rules as present
    11. Should oppressed – LGBT, disabled, black and minority ethnic groups – have privileged representation/policy making rights as separate sections? —————————We should allow platforms or sections – Equality policy and procedures should ensure representation. I suggest that all sections should have the right to submit a view on proposed policy/constitution etc before it is agreed.
    12. How should we seek to use e-democracy and the internet for internal elections, debate and voting on policy?
    13. How should the Constitution(s) and any amendments be debated at the November founding conference?
    Copies of the constitution must be available in advance with comments/amendments from the different ‘sections’ or individuals amendments. We should be able to vote but we won’t have time for a lengthy discussion but we can agree a draft constitution for further refinement and discussion by members

    • TimP says:

      I rather like Anne’s suggestion, under 8, that all candidates have experience of life outside politics (not necessarily a job – wouldn’t want to exclude students or the unemployed). I’m not sure it would be easy to write a suitable clause for the constitution, but perhaps in any guidelines for selection panels.

  12. annegreagsby says:

    Need to maintain a separation between religion and politics
    This needs to be included. Religions have just as much right to express their views as anyone else, but those views should not be privileged in the framing of public policy and law.
    We must make a statement that the LU party will not solicit votes, members or money on religious grounds, nor give religious groups any special access to policy making. In government, he should commit LU to protect all religious beliefs but promote none, while also making clear that religious belief will always yield to the law and to basic human rights, particularly those of women and children and the right of expression.

  13. gerryc says:

    Ala American football, the Aims section gets a pass through the line!?

    Now you admit its so controversial, it should not be put forward for voting – no level of agreement in a policy commission – more productive to assign another policy commission for it so November has some well-worked options to vote on.


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