Conservatives show what’s right about the Lib Dem membership system

The Liberal Democrat membership system, especially the Salesforce platform, comes in for some understandable criticisms and moans at times, but it also comes in for some unreasonable ones too – which is why it’s always useful to remember that which is so commonplace as to be forgotten.

Simply having a central membership list to which people have online access to from all around the country is a major benefit, but was controversial in its day.

Look at the complaints about the Conservative membership system to see how good the Liberal Democrat situation is by contrast:

In a rash of enthusiasm you join your local Party, or sign up via Conservatives.com…

Sometimes your data is shared with your local Conservative MP or candidate. But sometimes it isn’t.

Sometimes your data is shared with the leaders of your local Association. But sometimes it isn’t.

Your data will almost certainly *not* be shared with your local Conservative MEP, Assembly Member, Councillor, Area Chairman, Regional Chairman, or anyone more senior in National Convention, even though they have all been elected to represent you.

You will probably be told nothing about your local or regional Party.

By contrast, in the Liberal Democrats you get told about your local party, and the local party, region (or Welsh/Scottish Party) and others have access in real time to the data about new members. Which is why some local membership secretaries were able to have a bit of fun in the post-election membership surge by ringing new members very promptly after joining. The record, I think, was getting in a welcome call from the local party just under 45 minutes after someone had joined via the national website.

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