Votes heal

Why can’t the Labour Party recognise that fair votes heal? If you’ve done your best and lost, then it’s easier to accept the will of the majority. While it’s always been a ploy to manipulate the short lists for selections, there’s an ugly rumour going round that Lewisham’s Mayoral Selection committee plan to propose a short list of two, one woman and one man to put to the members.

The big picture is that the candidate will be chosen by a one member, one vote; members should be given a diverse choice of competent candidates. Proposing a candidate that doesn’t come from such a competition, is contemptuous of the electorate, and dangerous for the Party as the experience of Gordon Brown and Theresa May, who both avoided their membership confirmation have shown.

Labour’s rules emphasise fairness to candidates and members in several places.

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Chapter 1.VIII.N NEC & Equalities Policy, sets out our equality goals, supporting the representation of working class, women, ethnic minority, LGBT and disability candidates and the NEC’s duty to pursue it.

In Chapter 4.I.1 they declare the that fair elections will be held, obvious it would seem but the Judges quoted this in the 2016 cases. The rule applies to internal officer elections, but if they can import freeze dates into internal elections from Chapter 5, then the overall duty of fairness from Chapter 4 can be applied to Chapter 5 (Candidates for Office) selections.

Under Chapter 5, rule 5.I.C.i requires a fair selection and rule 5.I.E. Candidates representative of our society states,

i. The Party will take action in all selections to encourage a greater level of representation and participation of groups of people in our society who are currently under-represented in our democratic institutions. In particular, the Party will seek to select more candidates who reflect the full diversity of our society in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation and disability, and to increase working class representation.

Chapter 5, also has a rule, 5.I.H. called “Transparency in procedures”, which states that

i. Procedural rules and guidelines for these selections shall endeavour to be clear, simple and easy to administer by Party units. Support shall be provided to those administering the selections process.

Transparency, and that word is why I publish the rule title would suggest the rules are published in advance and available to all. It would seem that this rule has not been so well read.

I was of the view that a rule exists that states there must be at least three candidates for a single post selection, but I can’t find it today; I must have seen it somewhere, perhaps its in some of the procedural guidelines for parliamentary selections, which not all members get to see.

Finally rule 5.III.7 documents the disputes process for non inclusion, to be resolved by the Regional Appeals Board, or the LCF on the process of the selection.

Votes heal

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