As you know, Liberal Democrats are unique in British politics as the only party whose policy is developed democratically through a member elected policy committee, member votes at conference and a member voice that is listened to at every level of the party.
The same will be true of our next Manifesto. At the 2015 General Election we have a huge opportunity to break the outdated two-party mould of British politics for good. But to achieve this, we need to develop strong policies that reinforce our values, appeal to our potential supporters and can be delivered in Government. That’s where you come in.
Following Conference’s approval of the Manifesto Themes Paper, the members of the Manifesto Working Group and I want to continue a dialogue with members as we draft the Pre Manifesto Document that will go to Autumn Conference 2014.
So this weekend we are launching the party’s biggest ever manifesto consultation “Have Your Say”, with several ways for members to get involved, including:
· A new website – www.manifesto2015.org – where any member can discuss proposals and submit their own ideas, which will then be reviewed by the Manifesto Working Group, with the best ones opened up for further debate.
· Support for local parties to hold their own discussion meetings.
· A regional Manifesto Roadshow, which will visit:
o Leeds – 12th November
o Yeovil – 14th November
o Tregynon – 16th November
o London – 4th December
o Birmingham – January (tbc)
o Aberdeen – 30th March
o Welsh Spring Conference (tbc)
I’d like to encourage every member to get involved, whether online or at local meetings. We will all be campaigning on our 2015 Manifesto, so I want everyone to have their say as we write it!
* David Laws is Liberal Democrat Minister for Schools.