Why Conference Delegates Should Back Open Selection


Labour International has proposed a rule change motion this year for the Labour Conference. This is why all delegates should vote for our motion.

We believe that open selection will improve the democratic process in choosing prospective parliamentary candidates. Historically, it has been difficult for Labour members to hold their representatives to account – even more so if their MP is in a safe Labour seat.

If there is no sitting MP, under current rules a full selection process is held and the CLP chooses the candidate. But if members wish to challenge a sitting MP, it becomes more complex. This is where the trigger ballot comes in. Local party branch members, trade unions and other affiliated groups begin scheming, which breeds malevolent feelings in the CLP. This is not good enough, so we want to abolish all of these overly complex rules in favour of one-member-one-vote.

Our proposition would see a selection process held every time. The sitting MP would automatically be shortlisted on the ballot, then they are open to review along with the other candidates. All local Labour members would have an equal vote. In theory, MPs who have the support of their CLP will be reselected.

Momentum are on the fence and not strong on this subject. What they have produced so far is weak. That is why we are urging Momentum members to sign our petition asking Momentum to support our motion. We are also asking CLPs to support our motion (find out how to pass a motion in your CLP via our website).

Recently we’ve received endorsements from the Labour Representation Committee, Chris Williamson MP and Jeremy Dear, the deputy general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists. We have also been mentioned in the Guardian and Morning Star.

Many see changes to parliamentary selection as a plot by the left of the party to deselect MPs. This is not true: we want to democratise the party and make MPs accountable to their constituencies. We want the representatives of constituents to also be accountable to the constituents.

Open Selection are having a fringe meeting at the Labour Conference. The event is on September 22, at 3:30pm - 5:30pm, at The Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT.

Please sign up to our website for more information.

Being an MP is not a job for life. It is a privilege to represent people in parliament and take part in democracy – choosing who represents us should be democratic too.

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