There are several things we’d like to draw to your attention:
If the Party is to survive as a membership based party, it must take its direction from the membership, it must exist to fight for the interests of its members. The argument that ‘we know what’s good for you’ has been disproven. It was disproven by the election of MacDonald, it was disproven when Rozendahl was placed at #1 on the Senate ticket, ahead of John Faulkner, it was disproven in the NSW lower house by the elections of the likes of Obeid and Reba Meagher, to pick just two, and it was disproven in Victoria when candidates in Gipsland who had received 90% support from the rank and file were overridden by factional choices, even though it broke the party’s own rules to do so.
The usual argument in favour of allowing the factions to choose candidates is that it allows the party to recruit ‘star candidates’. Apart from the party’s inability to pick stars from duds – see previous paragraph – the fact is that if someone is such a political star they will win a rank and file preselection. A demonstrated fear of a rank and file preselection ought to be enough to disqualify any would be candiate for high office.
Branches, electoral councils and affiliated unions have until 4th of April to submit motions to NSW Annual Conference.
Here are some motions your branch, electoral council or union might like to consider:
Rule C.1 (“…the Rules [do not] bring about any legal relationship, rights, duties or outcome of any kind…”) should be abolished and replaced with a rule that makes it expressly clear that any action or decision within the NSW ALP can be challenged in a court of law.
The Party to empower its members to vote directly for National Conference Delegates, National Executive Members, State Conference Delegates and State Administrative Committee Members.
The Party to empower its members to vote directly for the Senate and for the NSW Legislative Council.
Union delegates to conference to be directly elected by trade union members.
Union delegates to conference to be required to have been active branch members for at least 12 months.
Rule N.40 to be abolished and replaced with a rule that guarantees timely preselection for rank and file ballots.
That there should be no preselection waiting periods for members who have paid for their own membership through traceable means.
The first four motions above are taken from John Faulkner speeches. The next three have come from other branches
In Victoria, the rules dictate that candidates are chosen 50-50 by local members and the ‘Public Office Selection Committee’:
18.5 The selection of candidates for Public Offices shall be made by the following:
For the House of Representatives, the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Council and Municipal Electorates, members of the Public Office Selection Committee sitting and voting after a plebiscite of local voters residing in the electoral area concerned …
Instead, Victorian Left faction leader Kim Carr, seconded by the Right’s Don Farrell, successfully called for the selection to be made by the National Executive, cutting out the rank and file.
PS. Six hours before the Victorian Admin Committee referred the ballot to National Executive, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews was asked if he could guarantee ALP members would get a ballot. Allegedly, he replied that he was “not aware of any alternative arrangements“.
STATEMENT ON THE ALP NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
JENNIFER MCALLISTER, ALP NATIONAL PRESIDENT
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ALP met earlier today to consider the process for preselecting Labor candidates for the seats of Rankin, Kingsford Smith, Charlton, Lalor and Hotham.
The NEC has resolved that the Labor Party will conduct local ballots for preselections in each of these Federal Seats.
Specific arrangements and timetables for these preselections will be administered by the relevant ALP State Branches.
Under these arrangements all of these preselections will be concluded by 27 July 2013.
The NEC also resolved to remove any obstacles to the eligibility of Joanne Ryan, Lisa Clutterham and Julie Ann Evans in relation to their nominations for preselection for the seat of Lalor.