Saturday, September 25, 2010

Labour's Electoral Collage

The technicolor collage created by Labour's electoral college is so much fun, it beats democracy for entertainment value.

Let's point out the basics first: the Labour Party elects by one member one vote in the sense that each member has one vote but they don't decide the election. The college is divided into three equal parts: Parliamentarians, rank-and-file members, and 'affiliates' which opens up the election to trade union members and to associations linked to the Labour Party, like the Fabians.

It does mean that Labour is saved from the decision being who is the members' favourite: if they had, after the distributions under the AV system, Miliband D. would now be their Leader.

It also means that a Parliamentarian's vote is more valuable than any other member's by a factor of somewhere in the region of 450.

It also means that those who are members of the party and members of a trade union can vote more than once. Each member gets one vote, but some get more than one. (And some who are not members and who can't stand the party got to vote. More than once).

And all that said, here are some interesting facts:

* 'socialists' in health and education will be breaking open the asti spumante, as they strongly backed the winner

* the BME caucus had a bad day, heavily backing Miliband D.

* musicians will be playing a funeral march with their favoured candidate coming last

* Christians preferred D., Jews preferred E. (results from Christian Socialist Movement and Jewish Labour Movement)

* more Unite members spoilt their ballot papers than voted for Balls and Burnham combined

* members of one union -- Unite -- cast nearly half of the votes in the 'Section 3' affiliates, and heavily for Miliband E.

* about nine in every ten trade unionists were bored rigid by the whole process and did not return their ballot papers

What a system, what a result.

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