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?