At this year’s State Conference, delegates will be asked to vote upon a number of additional rule changes aimed at further democratising our branch

Terry Wood

Democratising our party rules - Terry Wood

At this year’s State Conference, delegates will be asked to vote upon a number of additional rule changes aimed at further democratising our branch.

Direct Election of National Conference Delegates

In line with the recent ALP National Conference decision for branches to introduce a direct election model for national conference delegates, the Left will be introducing important rule proposals.

These reforms will allow for proportional representation ballots for National Conference delegates across four (4) zones in Queensland with the principle of a one vote: one value election and to also ensure proper regional representation.

Branch and union delegates to national conference will be elected on the basis of 50% each. The union delegation to National Conference will be determined by affiliated unions in accordance with their representation.

Increased Branch Delegates to Conference

The Left is proposing an increase in the total number of branch delegates to Conference from the current 194 delegates to 212 matching the number of union votes and enshrining the principle of 50% branch members: 50% union delegates. Ex-officio Delegate Reforms To allow for the additional branch delegates, ex-officio delegates will no longer be able to vote for elected positions at the Conference but continue to be able to vote for policy and administrative decisions of the Conference.

Other reforms include:

  • 3 local government positions replaced with a single delegate
  • 3 Labor Women and 3 Queensland Young Labor delegates replaced by the Convenor/President of each Party Organisation (Labor Women, Young Labor, Rainbow Labor, Indigenous Reference Group)
  • Elected executive members to have speaking rights at Conference in relation to policy issues in their area
  • Application of Affirmative Action for Young Labor where FECs with 9 or more delegates will be required to elect one person under the age of 26

Democratisation of Electoral College

The Left welcomes an initiative of the NUW to democratise the Electoral College consistent with the model used for other Party ballots, and will be voting to support this important reform. The existing 28 Electoral College positions will be replaced with the full union conference delegation of 212. The existing 70:30 branch: union provisions for public office pre-selections will continue to apply.

Importantly, this rule change will provide all affiliated unions, not just some, the opportunity to be involved in public office ballots in proportion with their conference vote. This also gives unions the opportunity to canvas their membership prior to delegates exercising their on line vote.

Terry Wood is a member of the ALP Rules Committee.

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