Sometimes it isn’t just what candidates in an election are saying that is revealing, it’s also what the candidates aren’t saying. Which makes it notable that none of the five people at some point in the race to succeed Tim Farron as Liberal Democrat President (one recently in the race, one now withdrawn) has, as far as I have seen, mentioned anything much about the party’s election fighting database, Connect.
The introduction of Connect has been one of the biggest administrative projects for the party in this Parliament, with significant cost, even more significant staff and volunteer time and a very direct impact on people’s election results.
The lack of comment therefore about Connect is a back-handed tribute to those involved in its roll-out (not only staff but also the keen volunteers who contribute mutual support such as the excellent group on Facebook).
It is also a slight shame because there is work that should be done on Connect still, as I wrote about in the summer in my list of five organisational challenges for the party:
There is much that is great about the party’s Connect database and much that is promising about the Nationbuilder and Salesforce systems that are now running alongside it. But they need a year of sweating the details to make them easier to use, better integrated and more reliable. Park any grand plans for new features and sweat the details instead.
P.S. Continuing my occasional service of saving readers the trouble of commenting, here is my pre-prepared pair of comments which I can safely predict on past performance other people will otherwise need to type:
Activist A: Connect? It’s awful. I used to be able to do XYZ in EARS and Connect can’t do it.
Activist B: Er, yes it can.