Debates and voting
Put simply, debates and voting is what happens on the conference floor. Conference is fundamentally an event where decisions are made. All through the year, party members feed in ideas to the National Policy Forum (NPF). The NPF then presents these policies to Annual Conference, shaping the debates for the week, and deciding which policy areas delegates will vote on. If you’re a delegate, you also get the opportunity to speak at conference, and address the main hall on the issues you feel most passionate about. There are debates every day, with voting usually taking place through a show of hands. Sometimes delegates vote at the Ballots booth with a card vote – this kind of secret vote is for decisions like rule changes. What do delegates do? Delegates are nominated to represent all sections of the Labour Party and ensure that from the grassroots up, a full spectrum of views and opinions are heard – from the trade unions and socialist societies to delegates from local constituencies representing the views of their members. The most important role of a delegate is to represent the views of the CLP or trade union you’re acting on behalf of. Your organisation has elected to send you, and trusts you to vote in a way that best conveys their view on different policy areas. Sounds interesting! How do I become a delegate? In order to be a CLP delegate at Annual Conference, you must be nominated by your CLP, so speak to a role holder in your constituency to express your interest. You must have been a member for at least 12 months at the closing date of applications. As a delegate you’ll have the opportunity to speak to everyone on the conference floor about the issues you feel most passionate about, and when a vote is called you’ll have your say. And don’t worry if a certain policy is not your area of expertise, you’ll have the opportunity to attend seminars to learn more and discuss specific policy areas, as well as receive all the information on votes in advance as part of the daily CAC (Conference Arrangements Committee) report.