On Friday 8pm tonight, there's a constitutional amendment to change the role of the Party's Vice-President (BAME). The motion would make the Vice-President (BAME) be elected by the entire Party membership.
LDCRE have heard some concerns that there should be more detailed discussion on how the role is elected, to ensure it's both democratic but also representative. We back the call for democratic legitimacy.
However we feel there should be further consultation with Party members. Detailed proposals with pro's and con's should be set out on how we can safeguard minority views while ensuring a democratic and feasible election process.
At the heart of the purpose of the Vice-President's role is a need to represent the interests and experiences of the party's Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Members. We therefore believe that only Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minority members should be eligible for the role, as the role requires an understanding of the lived experiences of ethnic minorities in Britain. Furthermore, Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority members make up only a small proportion of the party's membership and so in any internal election contest open to all members, our voices will be outweighed by other members. We think that it is important that Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority voices are at the heart of selecting our Vice-President and so voting in the selection of the Vice-President should be restricted to party members who identify as being ethnic minority. This would replicate the procedures in place by the Labour Party for the selection of their BAME representative for their NEC.
Unfortunately, the motion doesn't do either of these things, allowing non-ethnic minority members to stand and essentially decide who fills the role. We believe this is ill-advised.
So we have called for a 'reference back' - i.e. to send it back to the drawing board to bring it back after further consultation and work.
Please vote yes for a debate to go ahead on the reference back and then yes for the reference back to pass. This would then stop Conference having to vote either way on the motion as a whole.