Having written before about the need and benefits for the Liberal Democrats of treating members and supporters as active participants rather than passive spectators when it comes to pushing for the policies we want (and even suggested an email from Vince Cable), it was great to see Willie Rennie doing just this.
As Caron Lindsay has blogged (my emphasis added):
There has been no politician in Scotland who has been more active in supporting a change in the law to allow same sex couples to get married than Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie. I’ve been really proud of him. Too often in the past, our parliamentarians have mainly voted in accordance with our policies but not actually proactively talked about it …
He wrote to all Liberal Democrat members outlining his position and asking them to contribute to the Scottish Government’s Consultation which ends a week tomorrow, on 9th December.
Willie Rennie’s email said:
The Scottish Government’s consultation on equal marriage ends on 9th December. Before then, I want to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in a decision that, for better or worse, will alter the direction of Scotland’s social progress.
You can make a submission to the consultation here.
If you have a view on the issue, please make your voice heard.
Willie’s positive approach to a public consultation is particularly notably given the number of Liberal Democrat MPs in London who occasionally make throw-away remarks about wishing more Lib Dems would take part in a particular consultation or having to deal with the results of a consultation. On this they could learn from Willie Rennie and Scotland about taking practical action that involves people and helps get liberal voices hears in public consultations.
Along with Ed Davey’s approach to messaging, it is good to see some Liberal Democrats wrestling successfully with the challenges the party currently faces.