The Commission: Report of First Meeting of Labour Party Commission on Electoral Strategy
Date:November 1985
Organisation: Labour
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

22nd February 2016

Many thanks to John Cunningham of The Irish Centre for Histories of Labour and Class at NUIG  for donating this document to the Archive.

This is a particularly interesting series of documents which were published under the title of The Commission in November and December of 1985. This was intended to publicise the work of the Labour Party Commission on Electoral Strategy that was set up in that year with the blessing of the leadership. The Commission took hundreds of submissions on the topic and then held public meetings.

The Commission leaflet includes quotes from those attending and participating in the initial meeting of that body. These include then leader Dick Spring saying ‘The LP has often been criticised in the past for the approach to politics that, in many ways, this Commission represents. It is true that there is no other political party in Ireland – either on the left or the right – that would be prepared to undertake as public an exercise as we are proposing’.

Michael D. Higgins is quoted as asking ‘what is the future of the Labour Party in a society where four out of five voters still vote for conservative parties?… Is this party condemned to the two alternatives of accepting FF rule or punishing FF?’

There are various other articles in both editions which seek to address issues such as voter volatility, women citizens in the state and an ‘unequal society’.

For more on the CES please see this document in the Archive.

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