A few questions are repeatedly coming up about the elections currently being held for various Liberal Democrat federal party committees. So I’ve put together this unofficial Q&A. Unofficial, but I hope helpful and neutral, save for the last question…
Q. What posts are up for election?
A. 15 posts on the Federal Executive (FE), 15 posts on the Federal Policy Committee (FPC), 12 posts on the Federal Conference Committee (FCC), 5 posts on the International Relations Committee (IRC) and 8 posts on the European Liberal Democrats and Reform Party (ELDR) Delegation.
Q. What about the Interim Peers Panel?
Q. Who can vote in these elections?
A. Voting federal conference representatives. All get the vote, whether or not they went to conference or registered for conference (and that’s one reason why it is always a good idea for local parties to elect a full set of voting reps even if not all of them are planning to go to conference).
Q. Is there any hustings for these contests?
A. No, however there are two unofficial places you can go for further information and to read candidates answering questions. Party member Jennie Rigg has asked all FCC and FPC candidates to answer a set of questions and is posting the answers up on her site. There are also a series of discussion threads in the Lib Dem Voice members-only forum. They are in the Party Organisation topic.
If you know of any others, do let me know and I’ll add them in to this answer.
(UPDATE: Andy Hinton has been asking the Federal Executive candidates about conference accreditation.)
Q. How are ballot papers being sent out?
A. The election is being carried out by a mix of electronic and paper voting. Some conference representatives were emailed electronic voting instructions around Thursday 18 October. Those for whom the party’s official central records do not have an email address were posted ballot papers, which should arrive by Monday 22 October at the latest according to the Deputy Acting Returning Officer.
Q. Why have I not received my ballot paper?
A. If you think the party has an email address for you, it is worth double-checking your inbox and spam folders. The emails were sent out from Electoral Reform Services (email@example.com) with the subject line The Liberal Democrats – Committee Elections 2012-2014. For posted items, even with the best will in the world postal delivery systems are not perfect, so personally I would leave it an extra day or so before worrying.
Queries about missing ballot papers, whether someone was on the list to be sent them, and so on can be sent to the Deputy Acting Returning Officer (David Allworthy), who administers the elections. He is on Returning.Officer@libdems.org.uk.
Q. When do I have to vote by?
A. The ballot closes on 7 November. Electronic votes must be cast by noon on that day.
Q. When are the results declared?
A. The count is being held on 10 November. The official answer on the results being made public is, “Details of the results will be available from Party Headquarters from Monday 12 November. They will also be published on the Party’s website.” In practice, information about the results often appears online in other places, such as individual candidates commenting on their results and on Lib Dem Voice.
Q. Are you standing Mark?
A. Why thanks for asking, yes I am. I’m standing for the Federal Policy Committee.
Note: this is an unofficial Q&A. I’ve done my best to be accurate with all my answers. If in doubt, it is best to check with the party and not me, though if you spot any mistakes or have suggestions for further content please do let me know.