How to change policy in the NSW ALP (part 1)

The first step in changing party policy is to submit a motion to conference. Practically any party unit can do that, including Branches, and Electoral Councils.

Once you have passed the motion at a branch or SEC or FEC, the secretary has to submit it. If you’re quick, there’s still a few hours left to get it onto the agenda for the 2016 conference:

Has to be done by 12:00 noon today (Friday 6th November).

The motion will then go to the appropriate Committee. If they agree with it, they will recommend that Conference support it.

If Conference agrees with the Committee, which they usually do, then it’s Party Policy.

It can be that easy, depending on the motion.

It often isn’t.

If the Committee doesn’t support your motion, then to get it passed, you’re going to need to get the Committee’s decision overturned by Conference. And that’s no easier than it sounds.

(To be continued. See also, How Stuff Works…)

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4 Responses to How to change policy in the NSW ALP (part 1)

  1. Laurie Ganter says:

    Why not short circuit the whole system and just have the “Appropriate Committee” make the ALP Policies and forget about the COSTLY Conference that always passes them too.

  2. Ben Aveling says:

    I’m sure it’s been considered. 🙂

    The Labor Party is stronger for being the sum of many voices, and people do recognise that, in principle. The problem is that there are many conflicting pressures, and sometimes, too often, short term considerations are allowed to decide the outcome. There’s a recognition that that’s a problem – the question is how to balance giving all stakeholders a voice while still coming up with a consistent (and electable) platform, especially as there are plenty of decisions that can’t wait until the next conference to be decided.

  3. Jennifer Grant Jary says:

    It seems a lot of motions from party units were recommended against. The report was sent out to delegates by NSW HO Acting Gen Sec Friday last week. Is there a next step?

    • Ben Aveling says:

      Excellent question. It’s possible to move amendments to the report. It’s unlikely that anything significant will be treated very differently the second time around, but that isn’t the only reason to move an amendment. In short, moving an amendment forces delegates to stand up and be counted either as being in favour of reform, or as being against it.

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