Tuesday, May 25, 2010

DSE conventions

Last night the Labour party in Dublin South East selected two candidates to contest the next general election, sometime between now and June 2012. Due to the determinations of the Candidate Selection Board there were two separate conventions held, one for Pembroke-Rathmines where Ruairi Quinn was selected unopposed, and another for South-East Inner City where Kevin Humphreys beat Ivana Bacik. Each convention also discussed a motion disagreeing with splitting the constituency in two and the motions were passed in both wards.

All throughout the process I have been opposed to the split conventions as they effectively disenfranchised about 70% of the membership in the constituency. By my reckoning the same outcome would have been achieved by holding a standard, open selection vote and the process would have been far less acrimonious and not split the membership in such a divisive manner. It is going to take a bit of work to heal the wounds of the last few months. However, a good start along the path to reconciliation was made in the bar of Bewley's Hotel last night.

The motions are not binding on the Executive Board or Organisation Committee, but it should send a clear message that the ordinary membership was not happy with the arrangements. It might make the party think a bit more deeply when it comes to other selection conventions where a split is being considered. If some lessons are learned then the debates, emails and phonecalls will not have been in vain.

PS, Dear Phoenix, if you want more details, please forward a brown envelope filled with unmarked €20 notes. X series notes preferred.

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