Tag Archives: federal executive

Opinion: Restructuring is important but the General Election is the priority

Liberal Democrat Conference 2011There has been a lot of talk recently about the way the Party nationally is not accountable to the members enough and also that there should be early warning systems in place to pick up on anything that could be going wrong .The Federal Executive whose members are directly elected by the Conference representatives every two years is the body that is in effect responsible for the internal administration of the Party and is chaired by the President.

As one of the candidates for the post of President I thought I would set out some initial thoughts. I believe the Federal Executive should be restructured to make it more accountable. The fifteen elected members should be given specific portfolios which cover the HQ directorates. In this way there would be a great deal more liaison between the elected executive and the Party staff. The Federal Executive member would be responsible for reporting back to the Federal Executive on key areas of concern that they have. It would be a way of not only alerting the Party quickly if there seems to be a problem but would also give support to the staff themselves.

photo by: NCVO
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 36 Comments

Tales from the Federal Executive: The one where we discussed the elections

London December 9 2013 064 Thames Low Tide (4) ParliamentThe Liberal Democrats’ Federal Executive met last night in a Westminster Committee room looking out on a grey and brooding Thames.

The meeting had a bit of a comedy start with a last minute change of venue leaving member scurrying from one end of the Parliamentary Estate to the other.

The major item of business was, of course,  discussion about the recent elections. Several Federal Executive members had consulted widely amongst members to get their views. Only Candy Piercy, though, had been organised enough …

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Spring Conference reprieved

Spring 2013 Federal Conference agendaA couple of weeks ago Lib Dem Voice reported that party members were being consulted by Federal Executive about the future of Spring Conference, following a consultation session at Glasgow.  This was driven by financial pressures and the need for the Spring Conference to be cost-neutral.

Options included keeping it as it is but with cost savings, reducing its length from two days, or abolishing the Spring Conference completely .  The second option was preferred by Federal Executive.  Not surprisingly, the Federal Conference Committee did not support either abolition or any changes to the length of the conference.

Gareth Epps reports that yesterday evening the Federal Executive agreed to not make any changes, but to see how online technology could make the conference more accessible to the wider membership.

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Opinion: Spring Conference – Ditch it or shift it?

The future of Spring Conference is in question: the Federal Executive is seriously considering whether it should be scaled down or even abandoned, mainly to cut costs.

Neither of these are attractive options, and they appear to be deeply unpopular with activists.

However, the party has to contend with Spring Conference’s high fixed costs (bad for delicate party finances) and relatively poor attendance (bad for both party finances and party democracy).

At the moment, Spring Conference takes place in early March, during the Easter parliamentary recess.  That’s under 2 months before the May elections (except in European Parliament election years), when many activists …

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Opinion: Secrecy, federal committees and a lack of democracy

meetingNearly all the debates about Liberal Democrat federal committees and democracy hinge on who the electorate for committee elections should be – conference reps or all party members?

However these debates miss a big problem, which is simply that the electorate, whoever it is, knows very little about the performance of incumbents. Democracy isn’t just about the right people having the vote, it’s about them being able to cast their votes in a meaningful way.

If you don’t know what people have done, it is hard to hold them to account.

Currently there …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Candy Piercy replaces Jo Shaw on the Lib Dems’ Federal Executive

Jo Shaw’s resignation from the Liberal Democrats on Sunday created a vacancy on the Liberal Democrats’ Federal Executive committee.

The votes from the original internal party election in 2012 have now been recounted and Candy Piercy has been elected.

Candy told Lib Dem Voice:

Although I am very glad to be on the FE again, I am very sad that the reason for this is the resignation of Jo Shaw. Jo was a fierce campaigner on the FE who always spoke up loud and clear for her principles.

I will do my best to carry on that approach. I will stand up

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Last chance to stand for important internal elections – deadline 5pm tomorrow, 18th January

Do you have a head for figures and financial management, an interest in international relations, diversity, SAOs or campaigns?

I wrote last week that there were some important internal elections next week. The electorate is very small, the newly elected Federal Executive of which I am a member. However, you don’t have to be a member of that body to stand. Many of the positions up for grabs are open to any member of the Liberal Democrats.

The posts to be elected are listed in full on the members’ only website.They include posts such as five members of the Federal Finance …

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Opinion: Halfway to 2015 – three bits of advice for new Lib Dem Federal Party Committees

The beginning of 2013 not only marks the start of the second half of the Coalition, but also the start of the newly elected Federal Committees. Here is some advice for the three crucial ones, Federal Policy Committee (FPC), Federal Conference Committee (FCC) and Federal Executive (FE).

For FPC: Radical policy is required for 2015
Common sense says the 2015 manifesto should play it safe, yet common sense is often wrong.

A study of policy positions in party manifestos since 1971 in Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK shows: Parties in Government who adopt relatively extreme ideological positions do …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Federal Committee Election results 2012

Postal ballot paper being postedLiberal Democrat Federal Conference reps have voted for members of party committees for 2013-2014; the results are as follows:

Federal Executive committee
Places: 15
Candidates elected:

Qassim Afzal
Elaine Bagshaw

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , and | 20 Comments

Lib Dems’ internal elections: your guide to where we’re at (UPDATED)

Every couple of years the Lib Dems hold internal elections in which conference representatives choose members of key party committees. As one of the seemingly few Lib Dems neither standing for election nor with a vote, I thought our readers might like an update on where we’re at…

Federal Executive

What does it do?
The formal answer: ‘The Federal Executive is an elected committee responsible for directing, co-ordinating and implementing the work of the Federal Party.’ (From the party website.)
The informal answer: What does the Federal Executive do? by Alison Goldsworthy
Who’s standing?
There are 36 candidates (26 men, 10 women) competing for …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters and Party Presidency | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

FFAC chair Greenland acknowledges LDV accreditation article was “unhelpful”

The chair of the Federal Finance and Administration Committee, Duncan Greenland has written an article in the Conference edition of Liberator on the highly controversial issue of Conference accreditation. A Liberal Democrat Voice poll in June, consistent with every other test of party opinion on the issue, showed that a majority of respondents opposed the system, which requires conference attendees to undergo police checks.

Mr Greenland felt that the Liberator coverage on the issue had been “misleading” and wanted to put the record straight about the process by which accreditation was approved. He stated that FFAC had become involved after …

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What does the Federal Executive do?

This is the first in a series of articles about the work of party committees, written by current members. Each will provide insight into how a specific committee functions. We hope these articles will encourage party members to consider putting themselves forward for election.

The Party’s Federal Executive is responsible for directing, co-ordinating and implementing the work of the Federal Party. Right now, that makes it a pretty big job so if you have ideas on how we should be doing that, think about standing.

The committee has certain constitutional obligations from reports to conference to overseeing our accounts, you can read …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 4 Comments

Reports to party conference: two good things

In amongst the paperwork for the Autumn 2012 Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton is the bundle of reports from various party committees and bodies. The idea of the reports, and the ability to question them, is a great one. The content of the reports can have a tendency to be a little too banal or general to make for a meaningful report back from committees to people who elected them.

Take this shock news from the FCC report, for example:

Posted in Conference and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Tim Farron MP to restand for Party President

Tim Farron MP announced at tonight’s Federal Executive meeting that he is to seek re-election as Liberal Democrat Party President this autumn:

Being our party’s President is a wonderful honour for me. Together our party is achieving so much – taking two million people out of tax, driving the pupil premium to give a better start to our most disadvantaged children and helping to create the green economy of tomorrow.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 25 Comments

Federal Committees approve Conference accreditation

We are writing to confirm the decision of FFAC, supported by FE, that there will be a system of police accreditation for members attending this year’s Autumn Conference.

This decision follows an extensive member consultation and debate by the Federal Conference Committee, Federal Finance and Administration Committee and the Federal Executive.

As Liberal Democrats we would prefer it if accreditation were not something we had to consider. Many of us have concerns surrounding individual privacy and personal freedoms and none of us want to put any member who …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 118 Comments

Erlend Watson replaces James Graham on the Lib Dems’ Federal Executive

James Graham’s resignation from the Liberal Democrats on Sunday created a vacancy on the Liberal Democrats’ Federal Executive committee.

The Electoral Commission has now recounted the votes from the original internal party election in 2010 and named Erlend Watson as the winner. Party President Tim Farron phoned Erlend this morning to formally welcome him back to FE.

Erlend told the Voice:

I regard myself as a critical friend of the party leadership, we agree on our destination although the precise route to get there is up for discussion.

I was previously on the FE from 2006-2010 including the post General Election

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Opinion: The Lib Dem leadership’s attitude to the Police Commissioner elections is baffling!

“Liberal Democrats – soft on crime” was the headline that has often screamed off Labour leaflets over the last decade. Indeed, in the latter stages of the 2010 General Election, Labour strategists used that message to squeeze the Liberal Democrat vote when we were on 29%.

Looking at the partial, last-minute collapse in our vote, it’s difficult to argue that this line of attack didn’t work. The ‘soft on crime’ attack was used against us in the Oldham East and Saddleworth By-election. Labour’s Christmas Card to constituents in Oldham even featured a snowman with a police …

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Opinion: What next for elected Police Commissioners?

In 1951, the Liberal Party fielded just 109 parliamentary candidates. 1959 was better with 216. And in 1979, shortly before the foundation of the SDP, we were fielding 577 – virtually a candidate in every seat.

Most of us have grown up in a political landscape in which our party attempts to field a full slate, at all levels. In the darkest days after the merger, in first-past-the-post European elections cynically rigged against us, we fielded candidates throughout Great Britain even though we knew we would likely win no seats at all. Indeed, I still remember my excitement at the prospect …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 17 Comments

Should the way members of federal committees vote be public?

At the end of my post on the Federal Executive’s decision that the Liberal Democrats should (mostly) not fight police commissioner elections, a decision at odds with the views of party members we surveyed, I made reference to the fact that the details of such votes are not published and usually remain confidential. Sometimes news of who voted which way seeps out but, for example, you’re not officially meant to know that three members of the FE voted against that decision or who the three were.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Opinion: The Liberal Democrats should contest Police Commissioner elections

Ask many people what they think of the Lib Dems’ approach to law and order, and you’ll be told – erroneously – that we’re a soft touch. Our approach, traditionally evidence-based and less punitive than the populist authoritarian policies of Labour and the Tories, takes longer to explain. When we fail to do so, we risk being seen as the party that panders to criminals.

Of course, that isn’t the case. We believe in policy that actually works to reduce crime and recidivism, using all possible means to rehabilitate those who resort to illegality, while reiterating the importance of the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Liberal Democrats decide to pass up on fighting Police Commissioner elections (mostly)

The Liberal Democrat Federal Executive (FE) decided this week that the federal party will not be providing any financial backing to Liberal Democrats wishing to stand for election as Police Commissioners. The expectation is that instead the party will end up backing independent candidates, although it has been made clear that local areas can decide to field candidates if they wish to – albeit without any financial backing from the central party.

The strong preference given, however, is for Liberal Democrats to back independent candidates. As FE chair and Party President Tim Farron wrote to regional parties:

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

Federal Executive recommends changes to allow more campaigning in party election contests

During the week the Federal Executive agreed to support a series of proposals from the party’s Acting Returning Officer, David Allworthy, to relax the restrictions on campaign in party internal elections. To quote the paper put to the FE:

These can be summed up in the following five areas:

- the introduction of  Acting Returning Officer (ARO) electronic communications as per Leadership and Presidential elections

- the introduction of an ARO published e-mail and telephone contact for each candidate to encourage voter candidate contact

- the removal of the no endorsements rule for the Interim Peers Election and bringing into line with the Committee,

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

Party looks to the US for new election database software

Excellent news from the Federal Executive this week with the decision to appoint a preferred supplier for a new election fighting computer database. Voter Activation Network, the US firm which services many Democrat Party candidates, has been selected with a view to signing a multi-year contract shortly.

Amongst the other bidders were the party’s long-running suppliers EARS (though they may still have a role to play as data suppliers, especially given the team’s expertise and experience in dealing with different electoral register formats).

EARS has provided a valuable service to the party for many years, but the old model of individual databases …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

My question for the Federal Executive

Here’s the question I’m submitting to the Report of the Federal Executive at the party’s spring conference in Sheffield:

The report makes only very brief mention of several important topics (e.g. the party’s KPIs  and review into the general election, for neither of which are details provided). Overall it is far shorter than previous FE reports, with for example less than a third of the words of that from the first spring conference after the 2001 general election. Will the FE consider providing more substantive reports in future?

The Federal Executive’s report is being debated at 5:30pm on the Saturday in the main …

Posted in Conference and Party policy and internal matters | 1 Comment

Federal Executive elects people to key party posts

During the week, the Federal Executive elected the following:

Deputy Chair, Federal Executive – Alison Goldsworthy
Chair, Federal Finance and Administration Committee – Duncan Greenland
Treasurer – Richard Duncalf
Chair, Campaigns & Communications Committee- James Gurling
Chair, International Relations Committee – Robert Woodthorpe-Browne
Chair, Campaign for Gender Balance – Ros Gordon

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 8 Comments

Wanted: one party locksmith

The Guardian‘s splash about the first meeting of the party’s newly elected Federal Executive makes for rather generous coverage of a completely unexceptional decision by the FE.

That the first meeting of the newly elected committee, faced with deciding what motion to put to the Spring Conferences, goes for saying that the party should fight the next general election as an independent party is about as unsurprising an outcome as you could expect. But if The Guardian wants to give heavy coverage to the Lib Dems and Conservatives not being one and the same, that’s not exactly the worst the …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | 10 Comments

New Lib Dem councillor representatives elected for party committees

Via the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors (ALDC) comes the news:

Elections have taken place to elect the principal councillor representative on two Federal Party Committees for 2011-2012:

On the Federal Executive Committee the following have been elected:

Cllr Stan Collins (South Lakeland DC and Cumbria CC)
Cllr Keith House (Eastleigh BC and Hampshire CC)

On the Federal Policy Committee the following have been elected:

Cllr Louise Bloom (Eastleigh BC)
Cllr Stan Collins (South Lakeland DC and Cumbria CC)
Cllr Chris White (St Albans CC and Hertfordshire CC)

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Party reviewing internal election rules: you have until 21 January to send in your views

In November I blogged my suggestions for how the party’s internal election rules should be changed. In brief – fewer restrictions on candidates and voters being able to talk about the contests and who they support, more leeway for online campaigning and a series of steps to encourage more debate and discussion within the party about the elections and merits of candidates. The last point was fuelled by my experience of standing (successfully) for the Interim Peers Panel – and being asked almost no policy questions by voters in the process.

Following the federal committee, interim peers panel and …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 4 Comments

More results: party committees and interim peers panel

Liberal Democrat Federal Conference representatives have voted for members of party committees for 2011-2012 and members of the panel from which future Liberal Democrat nominees for the House of Lords will be drawn.

The results are as follows:

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , , and | 6 Comments

Live blogging: Reports of the Federal Executive and the Federal Finance and Administration Committee

Federal Executive (FE) report moved by Ros Scott – “I hope it is a sign that you are all fairly happy with the party that the room is emptying so rapidly.” Explains FE meetings always start with a session with Nick Clegg and also gets regular updates on the general and local election campaigns.

Explains how FE has changed more to a scrutiny model (cf House of Commons select committees) and has paid particular attention to party membership/recruitment and to IT.

Update on the Bones Commission report – those within the FE’s remit have now mostly been carried out. Creation of the …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarGF 23rd Oct - 1:59pm
    Stephen Hesketh - You're not missing anything! That the Lib Dem leadership is NOT up in arms against this monstrous injustice means that they have...
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    Richard "@Paul Walker That’s just your way of avoiding seeing what many of the electorate feel. " No, it's not. It's my way of ensuring...
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    I think this treatment of a peaceful protester is way over the top. In these times of danger from terrorists etc. this is a complete...
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    Sure, let's go for it. I think that referendums are a notoriously bad way to decide policy, but clearly there is a desire for another...
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    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2803377/Support-staying-European-Union-surges-23-year-high-thanks-rise-Ukip.html Of course support for AV was very high until the referendum.