On Saturday 3rd November there were regional conferences in Blackpool, Labour North West, and Southampton, Labour South East. Make Votes Matter and LCER attended in the South East and held the fringe meeting What Proportional Representative would mean for the South East: A First Time Labour MP for Surrey? with Ann Black, Peter Chowney (PPC Hastings & Rye) and Joe Sousek (Make Votes Matter).
Please Watch our New Video
Together with LCER Member and filmmaker Tony Price, we have put together a short film with several Labour politicians who are in favour of Electoral Reform. You can watch it here.
What to do at the margins? A new Progressive Alliance?
LCER was against the withdrawal of Labour candidates suggested by the Progressive Alliance, and wished that the emphasis would have focused on the support of candidates who supported electoral reform where there was a clear choice. Most of the problems of voting and the need for tactical voting are inherent in the current voting system.
We were however grateful to the information their campaign gave voters about how to vote to remove Conservative incumbents. Meantime in those very same marginals, LCER encouraged Labour candidates to emphasise their support of electoral reform in their leaflets, blogs, facebook, websites, tweet, hustings and in doorstep contact.
Support of electoral reform indicates an understanding of the need to change politics and a willingness to listen to and work with others. Recognising that our politics is broken, Labour wants to set up a constitutional convention. After the fiasco which is Brexit, we need a new deal for democracy. But with no direction on electoral reform? Labour’s default position, and many of the affiliated trade unions too, is first past the post as we found at Annual Conference in the reference back. Chris Williamson MP told our fringe meeting in Liverpool to keep our eyes on the prize.
So if your PPC, Labour prospective Parliamentary candidate, is chosen, find out their position, put us in contact, wish them luck and ask how we can help their campaign. Just email us with any information to EmailLCER@gmail.com.
But if you want to know more about the experience during the 2017 you could read the following: A New Way of Doing Politics: Working Together To Challenge a ‘safe’ Tory seat which you can order for £12 by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read more in All Together NOW: The Progressive Alliance and the 2017 General Election by Barry Langford, Biteback Publishing, ISBN 978-1-78590-286-4.
Elections to our LCER Executive Committee
You may have noticed if you are a paid up member of LCER that we are running our Executive elections. If you have not received a ballot, tell us and we will check this out. Only paid up members of LCER can vote. Please check out the candidates at https://www.labourcampaignforelectoralreform.org.uk/ec-election-2018 and do vote.
This great bunch of people reflects the profile of our membership, geographically and age profile. Recently we have tried to change the arguments from simple mathematical to political culture in an effort to attract more women. We need to thank both Justina Cruickshank and James Roberts who have worked on our Executive this year but stood down. We hope they will continue to take up speaking engagements and have kept them on our LCER Directory.
Most of our Executive double up at the many speaking engagements we are engaged on, particularly now in safe Labour seats and Marginals, but wherever you live just ask and we can find someone. From the feedback people really enjoy the discussion. Just send us a request to supply a speaker to EmailLCER@gmail.com.
Our latest success was in Bristol West, where the vote was overwhelming, with three against and two abstentions, after Billy Hayes, our LCER trade union officer, has addressed the issue for the Politics for the Many (https://politicsforthemany.co.uk) working with trade unions, particularly the largest affiliated trade unions, GMB, UNISON and UNITE, and Joe Sousek, LCER and Make Votes Matter, who had taken the Clifton & Hotwells motion to the Constituency meeting. Thank you Labour members in Clifton/Hotwells and those who spoke in the debate about democracy as a principle and the end of electoralism.
Events coming up
6 November: Watch for the voter suppression, low turnout and how the first past the post voting system works, or not, in the Mid Term USA Elections.
12 November midnight: End of voting for the LCER Executive.
Our AGM is on Monday 19 November: We welcome more people to become members of course as we are all volunteers and there is much work to be done. Do come to our Annual General Meeting whether a member or not to join in our discussion on the way forward.
1 December: The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) has their annual conference and AGM at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, London.
The Make Votes Matter Lobby, People for Proportional Representation, is in Westminster on 11 December https://www.makevotesmatter.org.uk.
February Women's Conference in Telford – let us know if you are going?
Any regional and national conferences being held?
What do we do about the trade unions – if you are a trade unionist let us know which – and whether you will be going – and we will try and go too.
Let’s work together to try and persuade those running the relevant Commission, Justice and Home Affairs, (and Shadow Cabinet Office) which translates as
That we need to consult the Labour members particularly as our recent experience in all the places we have visited have majorities for change. Next year we can put resolutions to conference so make sure you discuss and decide something on our outdated voting system.
So our New Year wish is for an official consultation leading to more involvement, more meetings, more recognition of the change that has been undergone in the Party, and more candidates and MPs and Peers, Mayors and councillors in favour of reform. And you of course.
Go for it!