Author Archives: James Fearnley

Opinion: Beyond the membership card – how can we build a sustainable party model?

Liberal Democrat membership formsAs a candidate for next year’s local elections in Rotherhithe, I and my colleagues across Southwark have some excellent targets. They take the form of a campaign grid, which helpfully channels our collective and individual energy as we work towards the finishing line now set for 22 May 2014.

Pioneered in Hull, our grid targets include manageable voter contact numbers, aspirational targets for fundraising and, of course, a core aim of recruiting more members.

It is the latter target that got me thinking… Why join a political party? …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 19 Comments

Opinion: Overplaying the power of the “people’s petitions”

The e-petition mechanism to allow a new public petition service has gone live and media coverage about its merit and importance has gone mad. Let’s not over-emphasise the significance of this move and let’s not downplay the power of solid, rational argument.

I disagree with Sir George Young: this won’t give the public a megaphone as such and to say that it will is an exaggeration. What it may do is potentially provoke debate on contentious topics for which Parliament at present has neither the political will, nor the time, to dedicate to matters such as capital punishment, abortion, civil liberties …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 5 Comments
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  • David Le Grice
    Why the hell do we only get two questions? We got more than half the seats and votes that the Tories got, if they get a whopping six then we should get at least...
  • Peter Davies
    @Paul Yes. Most organised areas do tallying....
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    "even in London we have no councillors (and so no councillor tithes) in 19 of the 32 Boroughs" it's not really 'even'. London Boroughs have the highest proporti...
  • Paul Culloty
    Is there much tradition of "tallying" in UK constituencies - generally, when an Irish GE or local election occurs, the boxes in the constituency (each one accou...
  • Ruth Bright
    Are there rules on hugs at polling stations? On "my" polling station in East Hants hugged a nun who taught me 40 years ago, a friend whose daughter's graduat...