The Campaign Corner series looks to give three tips about commonly asked campaign issues. Do get in touch if you have any questions you would like to suggest.
Today’s Campaign Corner question: A strange question perhaps, but we seem to spend all the time in my local party talking about campaigning and never about policy. Maybe that didn’t matter in opposition, but it certainly matters in government! How can we get a better balance?
A very good question! It’s important both because in government knowing what our policies are and why is much more relevant day-to-day, and also because it is policy that interests many people in the party in the first place. If you don’t talk policy you miss out on chances to get more people interested and involved. Here, then, are three suggestions:
1. Set-up a Lib Dem book club: I’ve just done this with Dawn Barnes and others in London. We are taking the pace slowly – picking short books or parts of longer books and meeting every other month – so that busy activists can take part. If it is a cross-local party book club, then it is also a good way to foster links with neighbouring parties. If you want a pair of books to start off with, how about The Orange Book and the response to it, Reinventing the State (at least when it is available at decent second-hand prices)?
2. Run Pizza and Politics evenings: invite a guest speaker, order in some pizza and talk politics. These are particularly popular in the run-up to the party’s two federal conferences each year. Many local parties now have an appetising schedule all through the year.
3. Make sure your members and helpers know about Lib Dem Voice and Lib Dem Blogs: policy news and debates often feature heavily on both, making them a great way for people to both be informed and to debate.
Got any other tips? Please do share them in the comment thread below.
Want to know more about local campaigning? Campaigning In Your Community by myself and Shaun Roberts should be right up your street. It’s available for only £4 from ALDC and you can read an extract for free here.