How the Welsh Liberal Democrats are moving to One Member One Vote (OMOV)

An interesting angle on the debates about the federal Liberal Democrats moving to OMOV is the recent Welsh Party’s decision to phase it in too (and thanks to Ian Walton for highlighting this to me). Add to this the political successes of Kirsty Williams AM and her team and the Welsh Liberal Democrats look increasingly to be the place to which other parts of the party should look for lessons.

Their motion is reproduced below – and this move makes the English Party’s level of multiple indirect democracy look all the more out of place.

New Party President Sal Brinton – like her rivals for the post – talked about the need to reform and simplify the party’s structures, which will have to involve the English Party if it is to be meaningful. However, none of the candidates for English Party chair in that recent contest talked about major reforms to its structure.

So there may very well be some very interesting internal bureaucratic times ahead…

Expanding the democracy of the Welsh Liberal Democrats with ‘One Member, One Vote’

Conference notes:

  1. That voting at Conference and in elections to Welsh Party Committees is currently restricted to a limited college which includes MPs, AM, Peers, Unitary Councillors, Party Committee Members, Local Party Officers, candidates for the National Assembly for Wales and Westminster as well as those elected as Conference Representatives by their Local Party or the SAO representing Youth and/or Students.
  2. That the 2014 Federal Conference in Glasgow passed the motion entitled Expanding the Democracy of the Party with ‘One Member, One Vote’.
  3. That in 2009 the Scottish Liberal Democrats adopted the principle of ‘One Member, One Vote’ at its Autumn Conference and the attendance at their subsequent Spring Conference was the largest for many years.
  4. That the Welsh Liberal Democrats already have One Member, One Vote in place for the elections for Leader and Deputy Leaders of the Party and for the President and Deputy President of the Welsh Party.

Conference believes:

  1. That there are three elements to ‘One Member, One Vote’:
    1. The right to attend and vote at Welsh Party Conferences (subject to the payment of the relevant registration fee(s))
    2. The right to nominate candidates for election to Welsh Party Committees and representatives to Federal Party Committees
    3. The right to vote in the elections for Welsh Party Committees and representatives to Federal Party Committees.

Conference resolves to:

  1. Adopt the principle of ‘One Member, One Vote’.
  2. Implement the principle of ‘One Member, One Vote’ in terms of the right of members to attend and vote at Welsh Party Conferences (subject to the payment of the relevant registration fee(s)) with effect from January 2015, thereby abolishing the need for Local Parties to elect representatives to Welsh Party Conferences.
  3. Refer the principle of ‘One Member, One Vote’ for the nomination of candidates for, and the right to vote in, elections to Welsh Party Committees and for Representatives to Federal Party Committees to the Welsh Party’s Constitutional Review Panel in order to bring about the relevant constitutional and election rule changes at the Autumn Conference in 2015.
  4. Defer the elections to the National Executive Committee and the Campaigns & Candidates Committee by twelve months to the 2016 Autumn Conference to enable the relevant changes to be made to the constitution and election rules without creating problems with how those committees are elected in the interim period.

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