Jordan Carter has blogged on Labour’s review, with the headline:
The Hope Project: changing Labour’s organisation
Inventory2 at Keeping Stock has some fun with the title, pointing out that such a glorious title is normally used for worthy third world projects, rather than a review about how to make Labour more electable.
Jordan usefully provided a link to the interim report. As someone with an interest in party organisational issues, some comments on a few of them.
The electorate organisation (LEC) become the main administrative unit for each electorate, with members belonging formally to the electorate (rather than to a branch).
I think this is a sensible move, and mirrors what is the case now in National. This does not mean an electorate can not have branches, but recognises that electorates are the core of a party. Most members get involved in electorate campaigns.
Regional (or sub-regional) co-ordination be strengthened. This structure should be the campaign-organising unit for a coordinated/integrated Party Vote campaign. This will require realigning of some regional boundaries and the establishment of sub-regional hubs.
Agree with this also, and think this is an area National lags a bit in. I’m of the view National’s five regions are too large and for example Wellington City with six electorates has little in common with say the Hawkes Bay seats (which are part of the region). Regions or sub-regions should be small enough to reflect a common community.
That the New Zealand Council structure be reviewed to ensure that it combines broad representation with the need to be able to make key decisions quickly. This could result in the re-establishment of an Executive of the Council.
Any body that is larger than 10 or so members tends to be a poor decision maker, and inevitably an inner core develops which develops most decisions. It is better that any inner core is recognised formally as an executive committee, rather than operate informally. So I’d either shrink the NZ Council to under a dozen, or have an Executive Committee which is responsible to the Council. Note National’s Board has just nine members.
Further work be carried out to develop recommendations for the Treaty partnership within the Party.
God knows what that means.
We discuss with affiliated unions ways of optimising affiliation.
This will never happen, but I think it would be much healthier if unions per se did not affiliate and gain bulk voting rights. It would be better if they merely acted as a vehicle through which union members could join and participate in Labour should they choose to do so as individuals – and paying the same fee as non union members.
We investigate means of affiliation for groups in the community.
Maybe then Grey Power and NZUSA could formally affiliate.
We continue to develop the use of social media, both within the Party and as an external communication tool.
I don’t think they need to developed their use of social medias, as much as moderate their use of it, so there are less SMOGs.
We increase the amount of issues-based continuous campaigning, which will help to increase the number of volunteers and organisers and provide organisational readiness for the Party.
This is the big difference between National and Labour activists. Most National activists only get involved in actual election campaigns. Labour activists will be involved in half a dozen campaigns at any point in time, from Save TVNZ7 to anti asset sales to stop mining to …
On that is built a policy platform: the high level set of agreed, evidence-based policies confirmed by Annual Conference, binding on all including the parliamentary party and able to be changed only by specific amendment at conference. These may be directional goals, policy principles or defined policy frameworks, but should allow caucus to refine the specifics.
It is at the annual conference that the unions gain their bulk votes where one union official can outvote dozens of delegates.
We develop and trial a candidate-training programme before the 2014 election.
An excellent idea. I know of a Mr S Lusk who would be very happy to assist with such a training programme
All candidates should be on the list and required to campaign for the Party vote via the regional campaign.
That is a good idea from a party disciple point of view, but I expect their caucus will fight it hard as senior MPs who don’t get particularly high list rankings prefer to not go on the list at all.
A working group be established to build a People Strategy for the Party which looks at issues of representation, including developing a mechanism for increasing the number of women in leadership positions in the Party and as MPs.
They could do what the Greens do, and require around half the top ten list candidates to have a penis, and half not to have a penis.
A Selection Working Group be established to develop selection processes which reduce central Party involvement in electorate-candidate selection. (Changes could include new member thresholds for representation, central short-listing with local decision-making, local representatives on the selection panel elected in a different way, full local choice, full local choice with a right of veto, or other ideas.)
Excellent. A move in the right direction. The party hierarchy should get a veto early on to ensure quality control, but after that it should be up to local members as much as possible.
The Selection Working Group develop recommendations to improve the list selection process through processes which are more transparent and better fit the Party’s goals. (The List process should continue to value quality and representativeness (of skills, background/occupation, regional representation, gender and ethnicity), and should promote continuous renewal and reflect MP contribution and performance.)
Well that is a cop out, considering the list ranking was the most heavily criticised aspect of 2011.
The Party move to a model that includes membership participation in leadership selection, and that the Selection Working Group propose possible models for further discussion.
I’ve blogged previously on this, and think it is an excellent idea. I expect the Labour caucus will block and delay it, as the ABC faction would be aghast at the thought of party members able to force Cunliffe into the leadership against their will.
Continue to seek financial support from a range of potential donors (including wealthy individuals, small and large businesses, and individuals) who share our values and/or who would benefit from our policies.
That is a very mercenary attitude. I would have said “who believe our policies are good for New Zealand”.
It will be interesting to see what actual constitutional changes are put to their conference in November, and if they get passed.Tags: Jordan Carter, Labour