The apparent use of simple numbers in deciding how the Labour Party should vote on Syria, risks listening only to the loudest voices.
With membership now around 370,000, the 70,000 that apparently responded against air strikes is only around 20%. Add to that, a number of members are complaining via social media that they did not even receive the email asking for their views.
If the party is going down a path of direct democracy then it has to do so across a broad range of policies, not just the one.
It also should not be used to potentially set one part of the party off against another. Instead, evidence based decision making needs to be nuanced and inclusive.
Changes to the way that Labour establishes policies is important for how a range of organisations engage with the party. Not least for business audiences. This type of one-off 'vote' will not facilitate engagement.
rbyn has called on his party to “look very carefully” at David Cameron’s case for air strikes on Isis targets in Syria, telling Labour MPs they had to “understand what is going on in the minds of ordinary party members”. As the shadow cabinet prepares to meet on Monday after a stormy encounter late last week, the Labour leader said he had received 70,000 replies to an email he sent to party members on Friday declaring his opposition to the air strikes.