Can you give 5 minutes of your time to improve discussion within the Liberal Democrats?

One of the things we’re most proud of as a party is that it is representatives of our local parties across the country, who make our policy at conference. It’s one of the many things that makes us stand out from the other major parties.

But away from Conference, how much discussion of the key political and policy questions facing us, does go on around the party?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that in recent years the number of “Pizza and Politics”-style events run by local parties has increased – as a quick glance at the excellent Flock Together website shows. And the Liberal Drinks initiative also now organises regular informal events in several cities around the country.

But what we don’t have is any real idea of just how widespread local party discussions of policy questions are – particularly outside the big cities.

* How many local parties in fact never organise this kind of political discussion event?
* How many local parties discuss major policy decisions coming up at Conference, with the representatives they send to it?
* What could we do at the centre do encourage and support such discussions?
* And if we did encourage more such events, would members actually be interested?

To try and get a picture of some of this, the Federal Conference Committee (FCC), in conjunction with the Federal Policy Committee (FPC), are asking members to fill in a short online questionnaire, about what currently happens, and how we could usefully develop support for local parties and others.

We hope the outcome will allow us to get something of a picture of both how much of this kind of discussion goes on, and what we could do to support it further.

We’re particularly keen to ensure that we get responses from as wide a range of local parties around the country as possible, as well as from as many members as possible.

So please help us by doing two things:

1. Passing this request on to others who may not otherwise see it, especially in smaller local parties
2. Take the survey yourself and give us your views. It will take you less than 5 minutes!
The survey is here.

If you have any queries or fuller views on this, please don’t hesitate to contact me on [email protected]

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This entry was posted in Conference and Online politics.


  • Bill Newton Dunn 18th Feb '08 - 2:42pm

    The EU, the family of European nations working together, makes collective decisions which affect us all in the UK.
    But our party (and the other parties too) makes little attempt to integrate European issues into mainstream Lib Dem discussions. Liaison between its MPs and MEPs is abysmal, even though party members imagine it must be very good. MPs have very little understanding of how Europe operates. Westminster does not ask for upstream facts and debating material which is readily and plentifully available from MEPs on issues which are going to reach the Westminster forum.
    If we Lib Dems, the most pro-European party in the UK, do not make Europe our mainstream policy, we forfeit a major advantage over the other parties, particularly since youth in the UK is becoming much more pro EU than older genetrations in the UK.

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