Party President race: what’s the post for?
The elections are now underway for the next President of the Liberal Democrats, as well as key federal party committees and other posts (full list of candidates here).
I’m running for Party President, up against Christine Jardine. The hustings between us have started and you can re-watch our online hustings here. Future hustings dates are on the party website.
One of the questions regularly coming up is, ‘what’s the role of the President?’ There’s a formal definition of the role in the party’s constitution, but I think it’s fair to say that we’re both setting out different visions for the job. In that sense, the definition of the role is up to party members in choosing between us.
For me, what’s key is the party’s strategy and organisation.
We have a great new leader, a new deputy leader and a growing Parliamentary team. We need all the national media coverage we can get to go to Jo, Ed and our other leading spokespeople.
What the President can do, one step back from the immediate pressures of the Westminster bubble and the 24-hour news cycle, is to keep focused on ensuring we get our strategy and organisation right, so that Lib Dems win more often, and on a bigger scale than ever before.
That’s the way we stop Brexit, save our planet and heal our society.
That requires keeping our collective focus on the longer-term – beyond the next day’s news headlines and also remembering there’s a world after the next general election. It also requires thinking broader – remembering all those elections other than those for the House of Commons.
Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, directly elected Mayors, the London Assembly, local government, Police and Crime Commissioners and the European Parliament – they all matter too.
There are, for example, now 50 Liberal Democrat council leaders or co-leaders. Day in, day out they are bringing Liberal Democracy to life in their communities. The party’s strategy and organisation needs to serve them, and Lib Dems at all levels.
I’ve set out in more detail how we can go about doing just that:
It’s vital we get our strategy and organisation right, which is why if you elect me to this role, I’ll switch away from full-time employment and it will be my only role in the party – so I can focus absolutely on getting things right, to ensure even more of us win, more often.
You can find out more and sign up as a supporter, volunteer to help or make a donation on my campaign website.
The party is in a bit of a race to try to get the elections for Party President and party committees done before a general election happens. Assuming that the whole thing doesn’t get delayed therefore the key dates are:
- 24 October: postal ballots to members go in the post (these are for members for who the party doesn’t have an email address)
- 26 October: online voting instructions go out to members
- 8 November, 5pm: voting closes
- 9 November: declaration and results
Keep an eye out in your inbox (and spam/junk folders) for emails with more news about the elections from the party – and then that key voting email. Good luck also to everyone running for the many other posts.