There was one amendment to the Rules Report. I don’t have the exact wording. Basically, it was agreed that there would be a couple of people tasked with deciding the size of Admin, and that National Exec would be used to change the size of Admin, effective next Conference.
The bit about effective next Conference is good. Any reduction in the size of Admin doesn’t affect the balance of power between the factions – the difference between ’30 right vs 15 left’ and ’20 right vs 10 left’ isn’t all that much of a difference. But within the 30, and within the 15, there will be sub factions and sub-sub factions that only have 1 member. If they lose that one member, they’re out in the cold. The difference between 0 and 1 is a lot larger than the difference between 1 and 2. Having the reduction in size happen at next conference gives would be admin members time to reach out to the smaller sub-factions, time to try to form larger alliances. It may still get messy, but by using democratic channels, by raising the quota needed to get elected, it gives people a chance to build new connections – which is of course the whole motivation for the change. It’s a lot less messy than some negotiated/imposed reduction would be.
That it is being executed via National doesn’t fill me with joy. I’d much rather see us get our own house in order without the need for external intervention – but sometimes, it’s a bit art of the possible. Delaying the decision doesn’t necessarily make the decision easier. There’s perceived to be a chance that the Schott review may put constraints on the size of Admin, but unless that happens, then the decision won’t be any easier after conference than it was before this conference – just more urgent.