Political

Should the way members of federal committees vote be public?

At the end of my post on the Federal Executive’s decision that the Liberal Democrats should (mostly) not fight police commissioner elections, a decision at odds with the views of party members Lib Dem Voice surveyed, I made reference to the fact that the details of such votes are not published and usually remain confidential. Sometimes news of who voted which way seeps out but, for example, you’re not officially meant to know that three members of the FE voted against that decision or who the three were.

There are arguments in favour of this, such as the idea that the committees have collective responsibility and – much like some council groups – decide their view in private and then collectively argue for it in public. However, one complicating factor is that most members of the federal committees are elected in various ways, so how can the voters in those contests sensibly cast their votes if the public track record of incumbents has important information missing?

A quick straw poll over on Facebook suggested that most Lib Dems support changing this rule but it has not previously generated controversy in the form of debates at conference, business motions or the like:

Facebook Poll On Elected Police Commissioners

So over to you… what’s your view?

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