The shelves of different detergents in a large supermarket give you a parsimonious range of choices compared to the flourishing of names in most Liberal Democrat federal committee elections.
If you don’t know many of the people, the choices to make can be baffling – and I suspect are often made with as much reliance on instinct, habit and not-quite-fully-rational choice as in the supermarket. Which frankly makes sense if you’ve got more voting options that your knowledge can stretch to carefully sorting (and which is one reason why I’ve been a long time campaigner – with some success – to relax the campaigning restrictions in internal party contests).
Even if you do know many of the people standing, then the choice can be equally troublesome. Whilst preferential voting means you can vote for many candidates, working out carefully quite what order to put them, and how to choose between long-standing friends that you rate, can be a matter of several hours slog.
Of course, with me re-standing for Federal Policy Committee (FPC), there’s no surprise for one of the contests over who I’d quite like other Lib Dem conference reps to vote highly for.
But if you’re looking also for some clues about some of the many other candidates, here are six I highly recommend – two from each of the main committees up for election.
It’s not been easily to whittle it down to just six but I’ve taken the risk of offending all those not named (sorry!) as I suspect a shorter list is more useful than a longer one in given all the other factors people will be juggling in deciding on their votes.
I’ve also restricted my picks to people who either didn’t stand last time, stood and didn’t get elected or got elected relatively late in the voting transfers – so that hopefully if anyone’s votes are swayed by this post, it has a good chance of making a difference.
With that, on to the names:
- Candy Piercy – a brilliant trainer, a wise and successful campaigner, an excellent team player and a greater fixer of problems. Skills the FE most definitely needs! Just missed out on election in 2012 (but subsequently elected after resignations).
- Neil Fawcett – a brilliant trainer, a wise and successful campaigner, an excellent team player and a greater fixer of… Oh wait. I’ve said that before. Edges Candy on knowledge of Doctor Who. Didn’t stand in 2012.
Federal Policy Committee
- Prateek Buch – a very smart policy thinker and instinctive liberal, with an impressive range of evidence to deploy and a vital knowledge of economics. Elected at stage 54 last time, by 2.39 votes.
- Jenny Woods – been a central figure to ensuring the party has the right policies for the online world, especially when it comes to civil liberties. Julian Huppert often gets the attention on those issues, but the party policy he’s promoting frequently has had Jenny’s influence all over it. Missed out on election in 2012.
Federal Conference Committee
- Cara Jenkinson – not stood before but an incredibly hard worker and certainly not short of useful experience to make our conferences bigger and better whilst also protecting and enhancing their democratic role.
- Mary Reid – one of the party’s best online campaigners from since before even I got started, and full of good ideas for conference. A long-time campaigner for more transparency in the party. Didn’t stand last time.
I’ve picked those six as based on past election results, a few extra votes for them may well make a difference, and electing them will certainly make a big difference. Of course, a vote for myself would be much appreciated too.
Apologies again to those many other excellent candidates I’ve not named but who will still be getting very high preferences from me. There’s a lot of great candidates to choose from.