Labour Annual Conference Briefing
Electoral reform will be discussed at various points in the Liverpool Conference starting on Sunday. It may even be raised at the Women’s Conference but there is no obvious slot. It will appear on the fringe and in the World Transformed.
It would be good if it was mentioned on the floor of Conference perhaps during the discussion on the Democracy Review when delegates felt able to talk about our wider democracy we share with people outside the Party. It would be particularly good if some trade unionists who support electoral reform mentioned what we would like to see in the coming year, ie a consultation of Labour members views on changing the voting system.
Democracy makes a Comeback
There are a few contemporary motions linked to the Democracy Review and the Boundary Commission Report reducing the number of constituencies to 600 (from 650) and based on the work done previously using the number of registered voters in December 2015, long before the hike in numbers before the EU referendum and the 2017 General Election. Well done to the Constituencies who sent them in, particularly Battersea, Chichester, Eastleigh, Gosport and Houghton & Sunderland South, and to others who sent resolutions to the Justice and Home Affairs Commission over the year. We need to repeat this exercise for the coming year with the new arrangements on policy to make the breakthrough in the trade unions and at next year’s conference. If you are from these constituencies and a delegate do come and work with us.
This year democracy is mainly either internal to Labour, linked with our Press, or about local government being denied the funds it needs or Brexit. Next year let’s make it about the voting system.
Let’s meet up
First of all, if you have access to Conference do come to our Stall A13. This applies especially if you want to get more involved in our campaign to change the voting system or know the position of your adopted candidate for the next General Election. If you know your MP’s position on reform and should you want to organise a meeting in your branch, constituency, forum - wherever two or three are gathered together to discuss getting rid of first past the post.
You can mention the need for electoral reform whenever it is relevant but the following meetings are particularly relevant:
On Sunday 23 September 1 - 3 pm
The World Transformed has a two hour workshop by ERS Scotland, Our Democracy and the Politics of the Many on building a radical agenda for democracy with Jon Trickett MP, Paul Mason, Kate Shea Baird, Nancy Platts (Politics for the Many), Jonathan Shafi, with Alice Kinghorn Grey (ERS) in the Chair.
On Monday 24 September 12.30 - 2 pm Unlock Democracy is hosting Radical solutions to fix broken Britain in Suite 8, Jury’s Inn with Alex Runswick in the Chair, with the following panel Lisa Nancy MP, Simon Alcock (ClientEarth), Cllr Mete Coban (My Life My Say), Cat Hobbs (We Own it), Adam Ramsay (Open Democracy).
Come and be a speaker for Make Votes Matter and the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform - Convert the Party
Monday 24 September - Speaker’s Card from Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform
At the same time on Monday 24 September there is a workshop, from 1 - 2 pm, in the George Fox Room, Quakers Meeting House run by Make Votes Matter and the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform and where we hope to launch LCER’s Speakers’ Cards which cover the main issues that come up in defence of First Past the Post and how to deal with them. Get your copy of the Speakers’ Cards, the Myths about electoral reform, and become a speaker for the campaign.
Last but not least, our Fringe Rally on 25 September, 7 - 9 pm, LCER and Makes Votes Matter present our 2018 Liverpool Fringe/Rally/Reception Voting Reform: Will PR be in Labour’s Manifesto? The venue is The Cinema, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, 41 Greenland Street, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool, L1 0BS. It is outside the security zone and followed by a reception:
Stephen Twigg MP (Liverpool West Derby) is in the Chair and joined by Paul Blomfield MP (LCER Chair), Mary Honeyball MEP, Neal Lawson, Nancy Platts (Politics for the Many), Jonathan Reynolds MP, Tulip Siddiq MP, Polly Toynbee (Guardian) and Chris Williamson MP. Join us.
We look forward to see you there if you are in Liverpool and if not to coming to your events in the rest of the year to raise the issue of democracy and our outdated voting system.
Mary 077 125 11931
John 07584 934 552