Building the Lib Dem North American Branch

Seventy-five years ago, the United States of America changed the world with two acts that define our current global order. Through dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, America simultaneously brought World War Two to an end and took on the mantle of the pre-eminent global superpower. As the nominal “leader of the free world”, America cultivated science and the arts at an unprecedented scale while taking on the role as the global beacon of liberal, internationalist principles. However, as James Croft has superbly illustrates in his upcoming article, being a “Liberal” in America has become a smear. But, it doesn’t have to be this way and wasn’t this way until recently.

For UK citizens working and living abroad, we have a unique perspective of the memories of the United Kingdom and the current experiences of our countries of residence. In a time where we are physically isolated due to Covid-19, we can also connect over our shared values and principles. In this environment, a group of likeminded, internationalist liberal activists has formed in the North American region – the North American Branch of Liberal Democrats Overseas.

The Branch has formed to action our liberal principles, be a forum for liberal discussion in the region and work to raise the profile of international liberalism. As a Branch of Liberal Democrats Overseas, we are the local ‘home’ for British liberals of all stripes, living in America, Canada and the Caribbean.

Since the formation of our interim executive in June, the Branch has worked to bring Members and Supporters of the Liberal Democrats living abroad together virtually. Through policy discussions and formal meetings, we work to understand how to strengthen outreach in our region, discuss and develop policies relevant to UK citizens abroad and develop ties to the respective liberal political scene in our region. With the monthly “Virtual Liberal Pub” we spend a Wednesday evening with a drink and our ideas. From this small beginning, we’re already made significant progress. We’re working to capture the voice of the US elections to support the UK Federal Party with key insights and plans; developed links with the US Democrats and Liberal Party of Canada; and, are planning to ideate policy that represents the voices of UK citizens abroad in the UK among many other activities.

In coming together, the Branch aims to be the regional liberal beacon that we need right now. At a time when liberal democracies, with their principles and ideals under attack, we must collectively come together to fight and renew for our liberal principles and ideals. The challenges in front of us are severe, even in the countries of a liberal and democratic foundation, liberalism is on the retreat. But it doesn’t have to be. We’re committed to stopping this slide backwards. Join us.

If you’d like to learn more about our North American Branch please visit www.libdemsoverseas.com or contact us via Facebook or Twitter @LibDemsOverseas.

 

 

* Mark Iliffe is the Chair of the North American Branch of Lib Dems Overseas

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  • November 3rd can’t come quick enough.

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