A smaller Administrative Committee? Yes. But not yet.

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.

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4 Responses to A smaller Administrative Committee? Yes. But not yet.

  1. Eamon Byrne says:

    When and where will the results of the NSW State Conf delegates’ motions be announced?

    • Ben Aveling says:

      If you have specific things you want to know, you can probably get an answer by calling NSW ALP head office on 1800 503 035.

      Based on past years, a high level report that summarises some of the more important changes will come out in the next few days/weeks, but not a full listing of amendments. The most important changes will be repeated in the next issue of Political Briefing, possibly with extra detail for anything that changes how branches and electoral councils need to operate – and there are several important implications for branches and electoral councils.

      For a truly full report, you pretty much need to be on the Admin Committee, or to know someone who is. This is one of the reasons that reducing the size of the Admin committee is going to cause so much anguish – it means that some people are going to lose their link to what’s going on.

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