Labour Party Conference 2004 draft proposals for rule changes

 

Conference Arrangements Committee

Ministers to be ineligible to serve

 

Proposed Draft Constitutional Amendment

 

The Labour Party rule Book 2003, Section A, Chapter 4, Elections of national

officers of the party and national committees, Subsection 4C Procedural rules for elections for national committees, 4C.3 Election of Conference Arrangements Committee

 

 

Paragraph 4C.3d reads as follows:

 

1        Every affiliated organization and CLP may

2        nominate an eligible member of the party for a

3        seat on the CAC. If elected she or he must be a

4        delegate to, or an ex-officio member of, any

5        party conference held during his or her period of

6        office.

 

Amendment

 

Add at end: Members of the Government (when the Party is in power) and members of the Parliamentary Committee (when the Party is in Opposition) are ineligible to stand for the CAC.

 

Supporting Arguments:

 

The CLPs have two seats on the Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) and for many years these were occupied by rank and file members. In recent years, however, they have been filled by two government ministers. To operate as it should the CAC must always be independent: most controversial issues at Conference relate to government policy and this puts the ministers in an impossible position. They cannot serve two masters. They are always under pressure to follow the government line, rather than the democratic interest of the delegates. This rule change would prevent such a clash of interests.