I oppose Jon Lansman’s cynical grasp of power from above. At the very moment that a conference of delegates from each branch was about to be finalised the mandate of the conference arrangements committee, the national committee and the steering committee was totally ignored and those bodies were claimed to have been dissolved by Lansman’s clique on the steering committee with no discussion.
This is the action of a bureaucrat who having realised that they were going to lose control from above decides to conduct a total purge of the organisation.
Matt and Nick Wrack had drafted a constitution which attempted to address the concerns of those who felt that one member one vote was preferable to a delegate democratic structure. It allowed for one member one vote on important decisions following conference or national committee debate and there is always the possibility of branches allowing one member one vote in their own deliberations. The national conference of delegates elected from each branch ensures that the decision-making process is as close to the grass roots as possible while still being manageable.
There is a huge difference in the quality of a decision that comes out of well-informed people who have listened to all the different arguments for and against a certain proposal and the amendments, rather than isolated individuals taking that decision without being party to the deliberations. It is absolutely vital of course that as many of the members possible are enabled to take part in branch meetings and that there should be remote access for those who are housebound or those who as a result of their disabilities are going to find attendance difficult.
Of course at the conference as a leading member of the steering committee Lansman could have put his proposed constitution forward for debate alongside other proposed constitutions. In that way the membership could have discussed and mandated branch delegates to vote for Lansman’s proposal, Matt and Nick wracks’ or any others put forward.
It is remarkable that Jon Lansman was not prepared to put his constitution to that democratic test and in fact his cynicism in refusing to even put the constitution to OMOV while claiming to champion member led decisions through OMOV is unparalleled.