From the SMH…
ALP branch leaders from across the state have called for the party’s rank and file to be involved in the direct election of the next parliamentary leader of the NSW Labor Party.
A statement signed by branch secretaries, presidents and councillors calls on the state Labor conference, to be held in July, to investigate the benefits of opening up ballots for the NSW parliamentary leadership to rank-and-file members.
It represents a groundswell of support from Labor’s grassroots for a more democratic process of electing party leaders. It is also a bid to rebuild flagging membership numbers.
The statement says social democratic parties overseas have demonstrated that giving party members a role in deciding the parliamentary leader can drive significant membership growth. The New Democratic Party of Canada has reportedly boosted its membership by 50 per cent.
Sounds like the NDP delegation to last year’s ALP conference made a strong impact! They shouldn’t forget however, that many of the NDP’s new members come from newly established branches in Quebec, where they previously had virtually no presence, but still managed to win 59 of the 75 seats at the 2011 election.