Liberal Youth Elections 2013… Policy Officer: Will Dyer

Over the last twelve months, as Liberal Youth’s Policy Officer, I served under four different Liberal Youth Chairs, on two Federal Policy Committee terms,  though 3 different sets of Liberal Youth elections and worked with over 20 different executive officers.

It is fair to say that Liberal Youth has been through a turbulent time over the last 12 months but look what we have achieved.

Our increased involvement in major by-elections and the up-coming local elections, (which has not gone unnoticed by our minsters in government), an increased turnout at Liberal Youth elections and for the first time since I have been a member of Liberal Youth, there are not only enough people standing for policy committee to fill it but also to make it a contested election. This compared to the 3 co-options that policy committee had to make in its first month in office.

You may think it strange that my first statement in this article was that policy was at the centre of the change in Liberal Youth. It’s the change in how we do policy that has made Liberal Youth successful. The long needed recognition by the Liberal Youth executive that, young people do not join a political party because it has changed a few lines in a constitution nor in the majority of cases do they join a political party because of the adoption a specific policy. They join because they believe in the campaigns, both Liberal Youth’s campaigns and national elections, which as a youth wing and as Liberal Democrats we promote. Lowering the volume of policy work in favour of getting Liberal Democrats elected is a great change that has happened within Liberal Youth.

This is not to say that we have lost any sense of our policy independence. If anything it has been enhanced. Would we have got a Webinar with Nick Clegg on immigration, if we had not worked so hard to get Mike Thornton elected? I don’t think so. To be able to use our policy influence effectively we need to earn the respect of the Federal Party and key players at LDHQ.

When asked what is my biggest achievement in the past year as Liberal Youth’s Policy was when I was able to tweet this. “72.5% of people who did the @liberalyouth Policy Consultation had never been involved in LY policy before. THIS IS WHY I DO MY JOB J”. This is not just because I had commissioned Liberal Youth’s first ever online policy consultation but that so many young people were getting involved in policy for the first time. I am already planning another policy consultation on Immigration, ahead of our webinar with Nick, to allow more young people to get involved in the policy making process. To hopefully helping Liberal Youth members making the first step of entering into government.


Voting in the Liberal Youth elections opens on Friday 3 May and continues until 12 noon on Wednesday 29th May. All candidates for the contested officer positions have been offered a 500 word piece on Liberal Democrat Voice to be published by the opening of voting. You can find out more about the elections and read all the candidates’ manifestos on the Libertine and if you are a member of  Liberal Youth you can ask them questions on their National Liberal Youth Chatbox on Facebook. Discussion also takes place on the #lyelects tag on Twitter. 






* Will Dyer is the PPC for Bethnal & Bow and a former London regional executive member

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This entry was posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters.

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