Catherine Finnecy – why I’m running to be Party President

Whilst the parliamentary party is rightly focuses on finding a way through this crisis there is also serious work to be done internally if we are to capitalise on our growing army of members.

I worry that lean times in recent years have hindered policy development. In some important areas I feel that whilst solid decisions are taken, some of our policies could be much more cutting edge, ambitious and better reflect our collective expertise.

We must find a way for associations to be better consulted and for working groups to be more diverse, inclusive, and meritocratic. Good social policy demands effective representation and consultation. The insights of minority groups and those who live with greater challenges are hugely valuable. I believe this is an issue that should be addressed with urgency.

Our climate change and environmental policies compete well with other political parties but could be far more ambitious, better specified and more tailored to the urgent crisis we face. The same applies to our health, social care, and social security policies. After the longest sustained reduction in healthcare spending the solution we offer must be tailored to the enormous task of reconstructing the health sector on its knees with particular focus on mental health services.

Our policies designed to help people living with disability must be driven in large part by the talented and skilled members we have but do not always make the best use of. Our policies designed to help candidates with disabilities need to be driven in large part by our talented, skilled, and experienced members. Respect must be given to perspectives informed by a different experience of the world. Better training for local teams involved with supporting or selecting candidates with disabilities is needed. I know from experience that even with the most supportive team, appropriate resources can be unavailable.

The president must have a strong allegiance to our values and a willingness to provide a balance of power when necessary. Sometimes the establishment candidate will necessarily be less likely to provide that balance. The president must be able act independently in order to provide the checks and balances required for the proper operation of any political organisation.

I have a professional background in mental health research and so am familiar with the challenges policy development and working within complex organisations pose. That type work involves very advanced people skills and an ability to engage others even when other priorities might take precedent. My instinct is always to uphold values, rely on evidence and protect the vulnerable.

We must be true to our progressive liberal values and present the public with inspiring policies that help us tell a story about who we are and what we believe. I’ve been a LibDem voter and supporter for may years but like most of our current membership joined the party in recent years. I believe I can contribute a valuable fresh perspective.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Richard Underhill. 28th Sep '19 - 5:23pm

    So many good candidates!
    Fortunately, using STV, I can vote for each one of you all, but in which order?

  • Tony Greaves 28th Sep '19 - 5:41pm

    I would like to announce that I am not standing for party President.

  • Paul Barker 28th Sep '19 - 5:58pm

    Can I ask Catherine what she thinks about The Core Vote Strategy & our recent shift to a policy of Revoke ?

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