A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Quotas for factions

As regular readers will know, I support the concept of All Women Shortlists and quotas to ensure political representation of women.

Until Harriet Harman floated it this week though, it had never occurred to me that a 50% quota could be applied to the two separately elected and dramatically unequal posts of Leader and Deputy Leader (the Leader can get to be PM, the Deputy doesn't even necessarily get to stay in the Cabinet in the case of the politically sound but often tired and emotional George Brown).

But I'd be prepared to accept Harriet's cunning and entirely selfless plan if in return we could also have the Australian Labor Party's system of factional quotas for Leader and Deputy: the right of the party always get the Leader, the left (with the right deciding whether to do a deal with Compass-style soft lefties or Campaign Group-style hard lefties depending on mood and just to show who calls the shots) always get Deputy.

This would of course render Harriet permanently ineligible to be Leader and remove choice from party members.

In fact my little antipodean flight of fancy could be denounced as a blatant attempt to fix and gerrymander a future leadership election. But then so could Harriet's and at least I don't have the prejudicial interest to declare of promoting a scheme that I would be the main beneficiary of.

PS can Harriet have been thinking of the last woman deputy leader who undermined her boss, ran for both leader and deputy and then lost both, Mrs Beckett, when she advocated this change?

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come Labour First are proposing a resolution to Conference calling on the Party to unite for a fourth term, while you continue to spout factionalism?

11:37 pm, August 07, 2009

 
Anonymous Dan said...

Anonymous, try reading Luke's post again, more slowly. He's not spouting factionalism: he's disagreeing with Harman's proposal.

Dan

10:07 am, August 08, 2009

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Anon have you ever heard of the concept of satire?

10:33 am, August 08, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand satire very well Luke - I'd always assumed Labour First were a satire and am pleased to be proven right.

The thing you probably believe to be satire, is, nonetheless, an attack on the Deputy Leader of our Party. In the words of our former Deputy - stop complaining and start campaigning.

11:42 am, August 08, 2009

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I've done enough campaigning in 21 years as a party activist to have earnt the right to complain when our deputy leader spouts self-interested, virtually self-parodying nonsense.

8:05 pm, August 08, 2009

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, stop with the factionalism unless you disagree with something? Nope, don't understand where you are coming from Luke.

1:42 pm, August 09, 2009

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

I think its a very sensible proposal. Personally, I think Harman would be a far better person to lead Labour into the next election than Brown, who inspires ever less day by day. At least Harman believes in something, although I think people like Luke dislike her because she would send 'New' Labour back to where it belongs and where it will inevitably go when labour are slaughtered at the next election if Brown remains in charge.

Luke, you must realise by now that Brown really does have to go. Is he so arrogant that he fails to realise that he has precisely no chance of winning the election? I won't be voting for him, nor will thousands of others who usually vote Labour.

11:32 pm, August 09, 2009

 
Anonymous Tim said...

To be honest, I'm still aghast that Harman got anywhere near being elected as deputy leader, let alone that there are people who continue to take her crackpot self-publicising tendencies seriously.

On a more important point though, is the title of this post a deliberate play on the title of the quite excellent 'Portions For Foxes' by Rilo Kiley?

9:32 am, August 10, 2009

 

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