Should the Liberal Democrats contest elections for Police and Crime Commissioners?

A topic of much debate in the party, the question of whether or not there should be Liberal Democrat candidates in this autumn’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections was also the subject of a piece on The Westminster Hour on Sunday:

* Mark Pack is Party President and Co-leader of the party. He is editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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  • Cheltenham Robin 13th Feb '12 - 12:29pm

    We exist to fight/win elections and elect Liberal Democrats, so yes we should fight these elections and indeed in Gloucestershire that is our current intention.

  • Yes

  • Foregone Conclusion 13th Feb '12 - 6:55pm

    I heard a report on Radio 4 saying that we wouldn’t be contesting these elections, ‘a reminder of the 1950s, where the Liberals didn’t contest many constituencies and had six MPs’. Do we really want to help this message, given that we’ve spent the fifty years since then saying ‘Liberal Democrats can win anywhere’?

    @Simon – that supposes a good independent will stand. I am more pessimistic. What if you’re offered an effective choice between Sid Bonkers of the Castrate The Paedos Alliance and a slightly less authoritarian Labour hack who’ll add it to their portfolio of well-paying portfolios?

  • Ian Stewart 13th Feb '12 - 9:12pm

    Well if there is anyone with time on their hands in November, they could always come to spend some time in the Lake District, it’s very nice at that time of the year and there are plenty of picturesque villages we could find some reason for you to visit.

    I always though that we are here to delivery Liberal Democrat principles and ideas, and in order to achieve that objective, we need to win elections.

    Anyone want to argue?

  • Foregone Conclusion 13th Feb '12 - 10:56pm

    Aaargh… yes, you’re right Mark. I didn’t listen to it for very long so I didn’t realise it was the Westminster Hour.

    @Ian Stewart – hoorah! Cumbria is one of the places we could possibly, maybe win (what about Cornwall and Devon as well?)

  • One of the inescapable problems is cost. The last I heard there was stil doubt as to whether a freepost facility for one leaflet would be provided. This would be an enormous boost in getting our message across without breaking the bank.
    Anyone aware of the latest situation on this?

  • A C McGregor 14th Feb '12 - 8:39am

    Yes we should.

    Regrettably the timescale & lack of support from HQ probably means we aren’t, which is going to get us hammered for it at the next local elections.

  • Matthew Huntbach 14th Feb '12 - 12:10pm

    My position is that party political campaigning is appropriate for membership of general purpose representative assemblies but not for special purpose single positions. I am not therefore in support of candidates with a direct party political label being put forward for Police Commissioner elections. I am not in support of such positions in the first place. Our position should be that constitutional power should always be ultimately in the hands of representative assemblies, no absolute power should be in the hands of single individuals. We should have had the guts to have made loud and clear our opposition to directly elected police commissioners in the first place.

  • Tony Dawson 14th Feb '12 - 8:23pm

    Does this question really matter?

    I imagine most Chief Constables are busy working out in which cupboard they will store these useless powerless narcissists who they will largely ignore and dare to say ‘boo’.

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