My favourite conference amendment

From the paperwork for the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton:

Favourite conference amendment - Brighton 2016

Makes my finest moment pale by comparison.

As with that, though, there is a serious point here too – that as part of the Governance Review a huge amount of effort has gone into the least glamorous part of writing rules for running parties. The detailed slog of fine tuning the detailed wording and punctuation so that unintentional ambiguities, unwanted complexity and unfortunate contradictions are avoided.

When things get heated and lawyers deployed, even as simple a slip up as using different word to try to mean the same thing in two different places can cause all sorts of extra angst. Labour’s own recent problem with leadership election rules show just how messy things can get when the detailed are ignored and problems gradually build up over the years.

That is why behind each of the major points of substance up for debate in the constitutional amendments in Brighton is a host of less glamorous subclauses which introduce numerous little polishes to improve the wording.

Credit to the Federal Executive for ensuring this happened – and for being open to involving people like myself who have been known to be just a bit critical of the FE’s work now and again. There are so many changes being proposed, I’ve no doubt the final wording will not be 100% perfect, but it will be hugely improved.


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