At the weekend I wrote about the turnout massacre in the recent Liberal Democrat internal elections, and how the change to the way the voting was conducted was a likely major explanation.
I also questioned what involvement the Federal Executive (FE) had in agreeing these changes, both the principle and the crucial details of implementation. Thanks to discussion on Facebook, it’s been pointed out to me that the FE had a paper noting plans to change the way the elections were conducted over the summer.
The FE then also subsequently agreed its written report to the party’s autumn conference, which included a section specifically on the party’s internal elections.
I think you can guess what’s coming next…
Yes, the FE having signed off on a significant change in the way the elections were to be conducted, the FE report then didn’t mention them at all. Nor did the communications to candidates, such as the notes with nomination forms. Nor did any communications to voters.
(Kudos to re-elected FE member Caron Lindsay who has already been talking about the lessons from this, including the need to have a clear communications plan for each decision the FE makes. It’s worth also noting that failing to communicate on this isn’t really an issue of over-stretched staff, which may well be an explanation in part for other issues. It’s about not having the right culture of communication in the FE – which I know some FE members are keen to fix. Good luck to them.)