To: PADDY LILLIS (CHAIR OF THE LABOUR NEC) AND IAIN MCNICOL (GENERAL SECRETARY TO THE LABOUR PARTY)
ALL full members of Labour to be allowed to vote in the leadership election regardless of join date
1. The cut off date, for members joining Labour to be eligible to vote in the leadership election, be either removed or set no earlier than one month before the actual date of the vote.
2. The £25 fee be drastically reduced so as to not make participation in the vote unavailable to those who could not afford it, and hence bias the vote against the poor in the party. As stated, the costs associated with the election could be reduced such that the increased number of voting members does not increase costs to the party if an online voting system is implemented.
Why is this important?
We the undersigned members wish to voice our strongest objection to the unreasonable "cut-off date" of January 12th for joining Labour members being able to vote in the leadership election.
ALL full Labour party members should be allowed to vote in this democratic party, and attempting to block people by setting a cut off date for joining eligibility, or requiring a high fee (£25) goes against the face of democracy, and could be argued are a means to unfairly influence the outcome of the vote.
We do hereby formally request that this date of joining requirement be either completely removed, or the cut off date, in the very least, be moved to a more reasonable time, such as one month before the actual voting date, which is in the future and not the past.
And we do hereby formally request that the £25 fee be drastically reduced: what could be argued is a tactic to try and limit the number of voting participants to the more well off, to whom £25 is not a life changing amount of money and who would therefore be more inclined to think in a more right wing manner, than the members where £25 could be the majority of the weeks total food budget, could easily be seen as a underhanded way of manipulating the voting outcome. There is NO EXCUSE for this cost - it could all be done online at zero cost to the Labour party beyond an initial one off setup cost, and this would also provide a much greener, and more efficient way of voting. The core dogma of the Labour party is socialism, surely not to make profits?
The date for people joining the labour party who get to vote in the leadership election needs to be set in the future, otherwise literally hundreds of thousands of Labour members (joining to back Jeremy Corbyn) will not be allowed to vote, and this is simply undemocratic.
The £25 fee to vote needs to also be drastically reduced (the £3 original fee was more reasonable), as there will be members who simply cannot afford this money, and so such a high fee would bias the votes to the more well of, and more right wing sympathetic, Labour members. There is NO EXCUSE for this cost - it could all be done online at zero cost to the Labour party beyond an initial one off setup cost.
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