Political

Lib Dem members consultation on party strategy commences

Hitting the email inboxes of Liberal Democrat party members this week is a message from Sal Brinton about the party’s future strategy – with a consultation document and an online survey.

This is part of the process which will lead to a debate and vote at the autumn federal Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth.

At our last federal conference in York, Tim Farron set out a very ambitious vision, “to replace the Labour Party as the main opposition to the Conservatives… so that we can replace the Conservatives as the Government of our country”. This is about how we put together a plan to do just that.

I’m glad to say that the core votes strategy approach features heavily in the consultation document.

The consultation document (which I’m one of the authors of) tries quite hard to make the key issues clear, and comprehensible to newer members who don’t come to these issues with the collected knowledge from previous strategies and previous Parliaments. (That freshness, of course, comes with lots of advantages too!)

I’ve no doubt we won’t have succeeded in that aim perfectly, so if the process prompts any questions, please do ask. It’s a really important process for the whole party to take party in.

(P.S. On the timing of the consultation – it runs through until well after polling day in May, so if you’re flat out with elections you may well want to leave it until then to read and respond. We’ve sent it out now so that anyone who has got time in the next few weeks can make use of that too if they wish.)

UPDATE: The snap general election and then a Lib Dem leadership election changed the timings of the process, which is now running through to spring 2018.

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3 responses to “Lib Dem members consultation on party strategy commences”

  1. Tim Farron’s comment at York on replacing Labour and defeating the Cons – took me back to my 1980s SDP/Alliance/LibDem conference speeches where my constant theme was ‘Our task is to replace Labour and defeat the Tories’
    Much water has gone under the bridge since then and we lost our way – particularly the coalition years.

  2. We need to avoid being seen as Labour Lite.

    Lib Dems are not socialists. We want people and businesses to be as free as possible and with the least state control. To be free requires free schooling, free health treatment, free speech, free markets and free trade.

    We want to avoid central diktat and devolve power to the most local level that makes sense.

    As an aside, the coalition was Lib Dems finest hour. A shame it did not last a second term.

  3. If we want to replace Labour, we need to appeal to (some) Labour voters while maintaining our values. Freedom is fine and very liberal and I agree with it (and so do most Tories and UKIP) but we need more than that.

    We need solidarity and community (cooperation should be as important as competition), defence of good public services (funded by increased taxation and borrowing if necessary), strengthened local government as well as an cooperative international mindset (including membership of the EU). Keynesian not austerity economics. These will appeal to many Labour voters as well as some Conservatives.

    If we just focus on freedom, we will be Tory lite, or even worse, UKIP lite.

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