Saturday, March 24, 2007

One year or two?

Friday: Well, I've broken the ice and made my first speech to conference floor. Speaking to a constitutional motion that, although it won a majority of 98 to 56 did not win the 2/3rds required to pass. Ah, I've had worse.

The motion in question was about opening up party structures reducing the restrictions on joining GPEx (the national executive) and bringing it in line with the restrictions on standing for general election. The short motion essentially brought the bar down from having to have been a member of the party for two years in order to stand for election to GPEx to one.

My points were simple. First of all this motion (D3) dealt with eligibility to stand for election rather than proposing people just go on the exec willy nilly (there had been some mention of the idea of people being 'parachuted in'), as green issues come to the fore more and more people will join the party bringing with them talent, enthusiasm, commitment and a wealth of experience.

Whilst GPEx is not the only way that members can help a party, at times the members of the party may well find newer members' skills and capabilities useful on that body. The movers of the motion (myself included) do not believe such people should be debarred from standing for GPEx. Members should be allowed to consider them.

I feel pretty strongly that parties should not have classes of membership and you are either a member or you aren't - so anything that restricts party members from playing a full and equal role in the party makes me feel uncomfortable to be honest.

Unfortunately, my arguments were not enough, oh well.

1 comment:

alan howe said...

The "activists" don't trust the members!! However long anybody has been a member, they are still subject to democratic elections to positions on GPex or as candidates.

How many non-active members would have voted for that motion?