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One of the features of our party’s policy is the amount of consultation that goes into preparing it.

Every party member has the opportunity to feed in their views before proposals are drawn up for taking to Conference. This has always included publishing a consultation paper before every new policy paper, and consultative sessions are held at party conference and often elsewhere too.

But over the last year we’ve moved consultation into the electronic world too – so each working group now has its own site where any party member can comment or contribute.

So the two new consultative papers that the party has recently unveiled are now online: on future policy on Europe, and on Further & Higher Education. In each of these areas a working group is working towards bringing a policy paper to conference, either in spring (FE/HE), or at autumn next year (Europe).

These are both key areas for the party: our support among students has been particularly strong at recent General Elections – and of course we are well known as the most pro-European party. The Europe policy paper under preparation is likely to form the key planks of our platform for the next European elections in 2009 (for which the process for selecting candidates is currently going on).

The opportunity to comment on websites doesn’t replace consultative sessions at conference – there will also be consultative sessions on Sunday morning at Brighton conference in September on both these topics. But many more party members have access to the internet than come to conference so this massively increases the number of party members who are able to play their part in making Liberal Democrat policy.

And of course we also have a site devoted to preparations for the party’s manifesto for the next General Election – – which any party member can participate in.

Do you have views on what our policy in these areas should be? If so, this is your chance to feed into the development of the policy which will be brought before Conference for approval.

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This entry was posted in Conference and Online politics.

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