Results of the English Party Elections 2012

Last week the results of the elections for positions within the English Party were emailed to members of the English Council.

Given that for all of these positions, with the exception of the role of representative to the Federal Executive, the number of nominations matched or were less than the places available, all candidates were elected unopposed.

The results were as follows:

Chair of the English Party – Peter Ellis has been re-elected Chair unopposed.
Chair of the English Candidates Committee – Margaret Joachim has been re-elected Chair unopposed.
Representative to the Federal Conference Committee and to the Federal Policy Committee – Geoff Payne has been re-elected unopposed
Members of the English Council Executive – Steve Jarvis, Geoff Payne, Dawn Davidson, Anders Hanson, Mike Wheatley, Neil Walton, Stan Collins, Jeanette Crossland, Darren Briddock, Paul Clark, Tahir Maher, Brian Orrell
Members of the English Candidates Committee – Dawn Davidson, Darren Briddock, Jenny Pinkett (Two places remain unfilled)

There will be a contested election for the position of representative to the Federal Executive between Jonathan Webber and Brian Orrell. The ballot will be open to members of the English Council and will close on Wednesday 7th November.

You can find out more about the work of the English Party in my previous posts ‘What does the English Council do?‘ and ‘Reporting back from the English Council‘.

* Andy Strange is a member of the Lib Dems' English Council. He blogs at Strange Thoughts.

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15 Comments

  • Is it correct you could only apply for these posts if you are currently a member of English Council and non-members (the majority of Lib Dem members) are excluded.

    If so it looks like a system designed to make sure all elections are not contested and restricted to the same faces.

  • Rachael Clarke 9th Oct '12 - 10:18am

    Lloyd – These elections are restricted by the English Constitution to existing members of English Council.

    Members of English Council are elected at Regional Conferences each autumn – your Regional Secretary and Regional Chair should have an idea of how many English Council members they can elect.

    English Council only meets twice a year – so if you are busy elsewhere, it’s not too taxing. English Council is also where the vast majority of working groups for the English Party are found – including co-optees to the Regional Parties’ Committee (which deals with disciplinary issues and best practice).

    If you’re not sure who to contact in your region, you can get in touch with me at rachael.clarke[at]libdems.org.uk (I’m the Party Governance Officer).

  • James Blanchard 9th Oct '12 - 10:29am

    Lloyd is right, the way this party body is set up it simply isn’t accountable to the rest of the party. Considering the very important work it has to do, reform is needed.

    Considering that the Welsh and Scottish parties seem to manage their own affairs perfectly well on memberships lower than any of the english regions save the North East, I don’t see why the english party’s powers can’t be entirely devolved down to the regions.

  • Christine Headley 9th Oct '12 - 10:33am

    As I recall from the Constitutional Review in 1993, the Scots and Welsh nations didn’t want to be perceived as at the same level as an English region.

  • Tony Dawson 9th Oct '12 - 12:24pm

    Abolish English Council! Save the deficit! 🙂

  • I think this discussion demonstrates some of the problems with the perception of the English Party. Some people say that it’s ridiculous that it isn’t elected when it does important work and has so much power, and others say that it should just be abolished as it isn’t needed and its work could be done by the English regions.

    Personally (and obviously I write as someone who has just been re-elected unopposed to English Council Executive) I’m very supportive of it. I also believe that it does a job that would be neglected by the Federal party if it was pushed upwards, but would end up creating even more bureaucracy if it was pushed downwards as each region would need to create their own structures to handle what the English Party does. For example, does each region really want to have to write their own candidate selection rules? It’s not perfect, but it does useful stuff. In fact, one thing that I believe it is starting to do better under Peter Ellis’ chairmanship is be a place where regions can swap ideas and best practice on a regular basis, and that is helpful.

    Whilst giving the vote to English members or conference reps may result in the election of the great and the good rather than ordinary members (as often happens in Federal Elections) this would probably be the best solution. However, this doesn’t resolve the reason that people don’t stand for it now as people still don’t know what it does or they have seen English Council and find it dull. Personally I’ve found ECE quite interesting and quite useful, but English Council is less so and that’s how most people come in to contact with it (if they ever do).

    I think it’s a job for the English Party to try and make more people aware of what it does. Brian Orrell did the rounds of regional conferences for some time trying to do this, but there’s much more that could be done to explain how the party works (not just at an English level) and to explain how people can get involved.

  • Agreed Mark!

  • “For example, does each region really want to have to write their own candidate selection rules?”

    I have no problem with them doing so based on a standard model set. After all this is what local parties do.

    There is clearly a fundamental democratic disconnect when places on FPC elected by the Federal party are ferociously contested, but the post elected by the English party is unopposed.

    “but would end up creating even more bureaucracy if it was pushed downwards as each region would need to create their own structures to handle what the English Party does”

    The usual argument of people who want to centralise power 🙂 Why in that case do the Scottish and Welsh have the “extra” bureacracy of their selection rules. Surely it would be much more efficient to have one Federal set of rules.

  • Stephen Donnelly 9th Oct '12 - 10:27pm

    If we are to attract people in to the party (and into politics) we have to allow them to have more direct influence on party policy without needing to go to every ward and constituency meting ,and every regional, federal and national conference; after delivering their focus leaflets, carrying out a survey, helping out in a y-election, bringing up a family, and having a range of other interests. Not to mention holding down a job. While some may choose the life of a political activist as a way of spending their lives, and others as their way of earning a living, surely active participation in politics should not be restricted to those people.

  • All I can say is that whenever I see the line ‘re-elected’ about an individual on body that in some way is supposed to represent me but of which I have no real knowledge or engagement , it makes me think of politburos…

  • …or rather, ‘re-elected unopposed’.

  • Tony Dawson 10th Oct '12 - 2:57pm

    @Anders

    “does each region really want to have to write their own candidate selection rules?”

    I would have thought any selection rules written by people who have some idea of the real purpose of the exercise, which is to give a local party the best choice of people who might stand some chance of winning an election, would be an improvement.

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