Take 2: Mark Pack writes…Why I want to be Party President

Apologies to Mark – we accidentally crashed his time at the top of the page with an ad for our fringe (do join us at 1pm in the Dorchester North at the Marriott asking what sacrifices we are prepared to make for the planet.). So it returns to the top of the page for an hour or so. 

Although Liberal Democrat conference has only just started, I already feel a bit like a child who has wandered into a chocolate shop, bubbling with excitement at what they can see all around. Here in Bournemouth, that excitement comes from bumping into so many brilliant – and wonderfully diverse – prospective candidates, so many of whom many even be MPs by Christmas. What a Christmas present that would be for them, their communities, the party and the nation: a massively expanded voice for liberalism at the heart of Parliament.

Many are people I’ve campaigned with for years. Such old friends will, I hope, forgive me for being just as excited about how many are new to the party, bringing in a new generation of talent in the last few years. Melding together the old and the new – in members, in campaign tactics and in the ways we organise ourselves – is crucial for our long-term success. 

That’s why, at this pivotal moment in the party’s development, with a new leader, so many new members and such a huge increase in our political potential, I believe there’s a vital role for our next Party President in making this happen.

It’s very natural for the Leader and Chief Executive to get drawn into focusing so strongly on the next Westminster general election. It is crucial. But it’s not the whole story. We need to remember the other types of elections out there. And that there will be a general election after the next one too. 

We need to think broader and longer-term to bring the sort of sustained long-term success that will deliver a liberal society, a safeguarded environment and high-quality, responsive public services.

That’s why my priorities if you choose to elect me as the next President will be to:

  • Unlock the huge grassroots campaign potential in our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters with the right tools, systems and support;
  • Embrace the power of technology, making us the best digital campaigners in the country;
  • Make the party one that is truly open to all and making the best of our talents by addressing our shortcomings on diversity and inclusion;
  • Ensure the voice of the grassroots is always heard and respected when key decisions are made at the centre; and
  • Put the party’s finances on a sustainable long-term basis, including investing more in growing and mobilising our member base.

Or in short, I want to help you win: your next election, your next campaign and the ones after that too.

If this is the approach you support too, please sign up to back my campaign at markpack.org.uk/president and if you don’t get a chance to ask me a question in Bournemouth by all means drop me an email on [email protected]


* Mark Pack is Party President and is the editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Chris Bertram 14th Sep '19 - 8:41am

    Good luck Mark.

  • I have no firm view on who should be president – but good luck. I’m sure you’d be great.

    I will, however, back the call for us to expand our talking points beyond Brexit. It is the single most important and all encompassing issue of the day, but there is a risk that many people, including those who are interested in us because of Brexit, will assume that’s all we stand for.

    Whilst unfair, saying that we stand for nothing, except stopping Brexit, is going to be an easy claim for rival politicians to make when the next election comes around, and we need to make sure that all of our enthusiastic new supporters are primed to address that with easy counter-arguments.

  • nigel hunter 14th Sep '19 - 2:40pm

    We MUST advertise our poiicies to counteract the ‘we are only interested in Brexit ‘ jibes The Guardian for example ,has an article on our environmental position, that, for example, is one area we can advertise.

  • Martin Land 14th Sep '19 - 6:42pm

    Good luck. We deserve you and the challenges you would bring.

  • Thank you for those kind words 🙂

  • Richard Underhill 21st Sep '19 - 5:23pm

    It is a fast moving political world in the UK.
    We have had no new defections since federal conference.
    If you became President would you want to play a role?
    or might you prefer to leave it to the leader?

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