Wednesday, 20 July 2016

How leadership rule changes mean a fight for the Labour Party's very soul

Interesting analysis by Professor Meg Russell director of the constitution unit at University College London in The Observer of the effect of recent LP leadership rule changes

". . . Labour faces this chaos due to a radical rule change in 2014. It created a strict “one-person one-vote” electorate, where MPs had no more sway in the final outcome than ordinary members. Under the previous electoral college system, MPs and members each had one-third of votes and trade unions the remainder.

. . . . This new system turned on its head the way that British political parties used to operate. Until the early 1980s, the Labour party leader was elected wholly by Labour MPs. The Conservatives and Liberals also gave sole power to their parliamentary parties. Today, Labour’s parliamentary party faces having a leader forced upon it that it explicitly rejects.

. . . .Today, all the main parties give their members a significant role in picking leaders. This draining away of power from parliamentary parties, and often also from party members to wider electorates, is part of an international trend. While it can be presented as a form of “democratisation”, such change can have chaotic effects."

Full article here

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