Tag Archives: candidate selection rules

Choosing a better candidate – some ideas to make it happen

Tim FarronMark PackLiberal Democrats are well used to arguing for changes in how our public elections are run, because we know the rules you use for a contest have a big impact on how desirable its outcomes are. That isn’t just about the voting system (important though that is!) but also a question of who gets the vote, how much influence those with money to spare can wield and so on.

It is just the same with the rules for our own …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 22 Comments

Positive action for women on Westminster shortlists

The English Candidates Committee (ECC) has decided to retain positive action measures to address the under-representation of women in the Parliamentary Party.

Clause 24 in the Westminster Rules for Selection of Parliamentary Candidates stipulates that where the ECC has decided to adopt positive action arrangements which affect a shortlist, those arrangements shall be observed by the Returning Officer and shortlisting committee as if they were contained in this Rule.

The provision is that:

In strategic seats and aspiring strategic seats (those that have ‘opted up’ to the full selection process):

    a shortlist of three candidates must contain a minimum of one woman
    a shortlist of

Posted in News, Party policy and internal matters and Selection news | Also tagged and | 35 Comments

News on adverts for candidate selections

With the impending demise of Liberal Democrat News, the question of what to do about advertisements for Parliamentary and other candidate selections suddenly becomes important. Happily, the English Candidates Committee is on the case. Returning officers around the country have received an e-mail from Great George Street as follows;

Dear Returning Officer,

As you may be aware, Lib Dem News is changing to be a monthly magazine from 16 November onwards and the old libdems4parliament site no longer functions effectively. As such, in future, selection adverts will go direct to the Candidates Office and adverts will be hosted for free online on

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Gender quotas get legal backing in Ireland

Interesting news from Ireland on the long-running question of male dominance of elected Parliamentary posts:

GENDER QUOTAS are set to become law after the Electoral Amendment (Political Funding) Bill 2011 passed all stages in the Dáil yesterday.

The legislation, which has yet to be signed by the President, will halve State funding to parties unless 30 per cent of their candidates at the next general election are women. This figure will rise to 40 per cent at subsequent general elections…

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Gender Equality and MPs – is our performance as bad as it looks?

I am very unhappy with the number of female Lib Dem MPs. 7 out of 57 is not good enough and we need to improve. The leadership programme which assists those from underrepresented groups to become candidates will hopefully help.

7/57 = 12.3%. So, less than an eighth of our MPs are women. The Conservatives have 48/307 = 15.6%, Labour 81/258 = 31.4%. Activists from the two other parties have pointed this out to me on numerous occasions. They are right to. It is embarrassing. We definitely need more female candidates. In 2010 we only had 134 (21.3%). The Conservatives had …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 32 Comments

A close escape – and now we should change our Euro-selection rules

This week the Liberal Democrats have had a close escape. Diana Wallis’s sudden resignation as an MEP highlight flaws in the party’s rules for picking a successor.

Those rules aren’t new, but many people (myself included) have not paid that much attention to them in the past. It was only the circumstances of a resignation surrounded by controversy which brought attention to their weaknesses. Weaknesses only side-stepped by the decision of Stewart Arnold not to seek to succeed Diana Wallis.

Most of the events of the last few days are specific to the Diana Wallis resignation – the fallout amongst …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 30 Comments

Opinion: a need for equality? Yes, but short lists aren’t the way to achieve this

As much debate about party funding and selection rumbles on, the issue of increasing diversity amongst MPs continues to hover in the background.

I would never deny that the under-representation of women or people from BME backgrounds needs to be addressed, however there is a much more pressing diversity issue, that of diversity of social class and occupational background.

Parliament is currently overrepresented by those who have been researchers, Special Advisors and lobbyists. To give some context to this statement: the House of Commons research library reported in 2010 that 14% of the current intake of MPs have worked previously in political …

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged | 9 Comments

European candidate selections: is that the time already?

News has reached your reporter that, in a radical break with tradition, the English Candidates Committee is likely to meet later this month to address key questions relating to the selection of European Parliamentary candidates for elections due in May 2014, where Liberal Democrats will be defending seats held in each of the nine English Regions (two in South East England) and in Scotland.

Radical, because the Committee usually only meets four times a year, with the first meeting at the Spring Federal Conference, and the newly elected Chairs …

Posted in News and Selection news | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Opinion: Why the Diversity Motion caused a stir at Conference

I not a massive fan of the term “Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME)” and in an ideal political world it probably wouldn’t exist. But we don’t live in an ideal world and the term is required to designate certain segments of population in order to address inequalities – an uncontroversial statement in my opinion – so why does it cause such heated discussion? Too complex to answer here so I will leave it to someone else but I have some ideas on why the Diversity Motion caused a stir at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference.

Liberalism to me is a …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Critics take note – English candidate selection process is fair, not flawed

Liberator 314 included a piece critical of English Candidates Committee and of the selection process generally. Sadly, but inevitably, the Collective are not alone in their criticism so, perhaps, we need to have an open debate on our processes, what they seek to achieve, how they work and what key failings need to be addressed in order to move things forward.

I’ve been involved in the selection processes of the party as a Returning Officer since 1989 and as a candidate assessor since 1995. In that time I’ve seen huge changes in the Selection Rules and the candidate approval processes, very few of which have simplified the processes to be followed. With that complexity comes frustration, and not just for those wanting to be candidates or wishing to adopt one.

Unexpectedly perhaps, I share some of those frustrations, as the system by which we select PPCs places a heavy burden on our Local Parties, especially the smaller, weaker ones. Our selection rules impose costs, both financial and human, and where the number of likely applicants is small, that cost is a disproportionate one. So how did we get into this mess?

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 9 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPaul Reynolds 17th Apr - 3:50am
    Helen. Please re-read my comments carefully and you will observe that I do not make the sweeping conclusions you allege. Nowhere do I imply that...
  • User AvatarAmalric 17th Apr - 1:21am
    It is a good thing that unemployment has fallen to 6.9% and this means 2.24 million people are out of work looking for employment. However...
  • User AvatarAmalric 17th Apr - 12:50am
    I agree with those who say that the Student Premium has not been explained very well. However to those who say we can’t afford to...
  • User AvatarPaul Pettinger 16th Apr - 11:47pm
    'He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against...
  • User AvatarFred 16th Apr - 11:22pm
    Gojam, isn't it also clear that Jack McCann and the Labour Party were also aware of Smith activities. The RAP article suggests McCann got Smith...
  • User AvatarRichard Church 16th Apr - 10:47pm
    @ Helen Tedcastle. No, Humanists are not included in SACRE's. Sometimes they are invited to participate as observers, but the 25% of the population who...