Lib Dem conference to debate changes to party election rules

Good news on the Wednesday morning of the Liberal Democrat autumn conference in Birmingham. The Federal Executive’s very sensible proposals to relax the rules on campaigning in internal party contests will be voted on after a debate scheduled for 9am-9:30am.

As I wrote previously of the proposed changes:

Regular readers of The Voice may notice a certain similarity between these proposals and the ones I submitted to the rules review before Christmas. Whilst in part that is welcome news (to me at least :-)), I fear it also reflects the relatively small number of submissions made – and is a reminder that the party’s decision making mechanisms can often be influenced by the simple act of taking part.

Here is how the Federal Executive report to Lib Dem conference summaries the proposed changes:

  • the introduction of the use of electronic communications by the Acting Returning Officer (ARO) with voters, as per Leadership and Presidential elections;
  • the introduction of an ARO-published e-mail and telephone contact for each candidate to encourage voter-candidate contact;
  • the removal of the ‘no endorsements’ rule for the Interim Peers’ Election, bringing said elections into line with the Committee, Leader and Presidential elections by allowing consent to manifesto endorsements;
  • the removal of the ban on electronic campaigning as it is no longer enforceable;
  • the removal of the specific question and answer requirements on the second side of the interim Peers’ artwork.
You can read here my reasons for backing these changes. If you are a Liberal Democrat voting conference rep, I hope you do too.

3 responses to “Lib Dem conference to debate changes to party election rules”

  1. I am nervous about an absolute removal of the ban on endorsements. I would maintain it for officers of the federal and state parties and parliamentary party. The leader or other very senior bodies saying they are endorsing worries me. And does for the other elections as it stands.

    • WEll Said Erlend Watson. Relaxing the rules is good sensible. Allowing any endorsement form anyone is going too far.

    • Erlend – two thoughts: (a) bans on endorsements are very, very leaky – if someone wants to 'endorse' a candidate there are plenty of routes they can take to help them (and you see this happen quite frequently, so at the moment we have the worst of both worlds; (b) the party membership is pretty willing to react negatively to a "the leader says…" type edict (think how such comments go down at party conference for example!).

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