Improving how we run our internal elections: Duncan Brack heading up review

After each round of major internal Liberal Democrat elections such as for leader, president or the federal committees, there is a review of how things worked. Given the problems with the voting systems this time, resulting in some people having to vote a second time, the review is particularly important this time around.

So it’s great that Duncan Brack has agreed to the invitation from the Federal Board head up the review. He’s written more about the review over on Lib Dem Voice, including how you can get involved in it.

Its key remit is to:

  • Seek views on the conduct of the autumn 2019 committee elections.
  • Consider whether the election regulations and party HQ’s operating procedures require any updates in the light of evolving party practices or greater use of electronic technology.
  • Look at how similar internal elections are run in other comparable organisations such as trades unions, charities or NGOs, and whether there any aspects we should learn from.

Personally, I’m particularly keen on the last point as in the past many of our debates about how our internal democracy operates have been rather insular, as if there are no organisations outside the party we can learn from. Being a political party is rather different from being even, say, a campaigning pressure group with a mass membership, especially when it comes to thinking about where power should rest. But when it comes to questions such as the best way to administer an internal election amongst a mass membership, there is I’m sure much that’s relevant to learn from.


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2 responses to “Improving how we run our internal elections: Duncan Brack heading up review”

  1. I totally agree with your last point Mark – learning from other organisations where possible and relevant is very very sensible. It might produce gold dust, but even if it doesn’t it will help to widen the considerations and add to the balance.

    Unfortunately the downside with this otherwise great Review is that if we’re not careful, the fact of it and the results/analysis will be swamped by what many consider a far more urgent and important process, the Review of the 2019 general election and what went wrong etc.

  2. I suppose there’s a difference between how it appears to us the punters, and how it works internally.
    From my perspective all I need is something that is straightforward and feels/appears fair, and that, crucially, I get my vote. Apart from that I don’t need to know how you count the votes or why some techno-gizmo didn’t work as it should’ve, I am happy to leave that stuff to someone who knows.
    But one important thing.. I do not want to see any sort of coronation or undue prominence of the acting Leader. That’s the one draw-back of having a long run-up to the opening of nominations, so the PR team need to be making sure that all our MPs are getting a share of any media coverage. So far I have only seen Layla, Wera and pro-nuclear power Ed.

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