Tag Archives: david allworthy

Federal Executive recommends changes to allow more campaigning in party election contests

During the week the Federal Executive agreed to support a series of proposals from the party’s Acting Returning Officer, David Allworthy, to relax the restrictions on campaign in party internal elections. To quote the paper put to the FE:

These can be summed up in the following five areas:

– the introduction of  Acting Returning Officer (ARO) electronic communications as per Leadership and Presidential elections

– the introduction of an ARO published e-mail and telephone contact for each candidate to encourage voter candidate contact

– the removal of the no endorsements rule for the Interim Peers Election and bringing into line with the Committee,

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Party reviewing internal election rules: you have until 21 January to send in your views

In November I blogged my suggestions for how the party’s internal election rules should be changed. In brief – fewer restrictions on candidates and voters being able to talk about the contests and who they support, more leeway for online campaigning and a series of steps to encourage more debate and discussion within the party about the elections and merits of candidates. The last point was fuelled by my experience of standing (successfully) for the Interim Peers Panel – and being asked almost no policy questions by voters in the process.

Following the federal committee, interim peers panel and …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Cowley Street shuts Plymouth Lib Dem branch

ThisIsPlymouth.co.uk has the story:

THE Liberal Democrats have suspended their Plymouth branch after an extraordinary spell of in-fighting among members. After losing two chairmen in five months, the party’s London headquarters stepped in yesterday and shut down the branch.

The first sign of turmoil in the local party came last summer when chairman Steve Barton resigned after a dispute with Dr Judy Evans, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Sutton and Devonport.

In a heated exchange of emails Mr Barton accused Dr Evans of making “negative and destructive comments” and of misusing electoral data software, the Election Agents Record System (EARS). He

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

Opinion: Federal election rules could be in danger of making a mockery of our party’s democratic processes

Ballot paperNick Clegg, speaking on Internet TV station 18 Doughty Street recently described our party as “painfully democratic” – he meant no malice or mischief by the claim, but it was a pithy, and accurate, summary of a key point about Liberal Democrat decision making. Every so often we keep the party’s democracy alive by distributing ballot papers to an electoral college of thousands of voting representatives (who are in turn elected by their local parties) at great expense. When it comes to being democratic, despite the cost, we practice what we preach.

During the latest round of elections to national party committees such as the Federal Policy Committee and the Federal Conference Committee, Liberal Democrat Voice received helpful assistance from election officials Lord Rennard and David Allworthy – their help enabled us to publish a full list of candidates as soon as it became available. This was, so far as I know, the first time a full list of federal election candidates was published online, free to access, allowing non-voting representatives (who do not receive copies of ballot papers and manifestos) to see who was standing for positions of influence in the Liberal Democrats. Alas, having seen that information, they then had no place to comment – in fact, the election rules forbade it.

All being well there are now two years until the next set of elections, and while the last lot is still fresh in our memories we should have a rational debate about the conditions under which the next is fought.

Posted in Online politics, Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Opinion: State funding of political parties would lead to creeping centralisation

MoneyRunning local parties must be one of the least lauded jobs in Britain.

Its hard work. There are (rightly) increasing numbers of checks (especially on the money), some with potential legal implications. Its not as glamorous as being a Councillor, and there is no allowance attached. And if you’re a Tory, there’s a high chance that CCHQ will come down on you if you misbehave and do something terrible like select a popular local candidate.

I was reminded of this when I attended the London New Local Party Officer training. I was impressed by both the calibre of the trainers – in the case of Treasurers the estimable David Allworthy – and the enthusiasm of the various participants (its still early days!).

Ultimately getting good local party Execs is critical to both the ability of a party to campaign -but also to the political health of the UK as a whole. They are the ones who sweat to make things happen, who ensure that the right candidates get selected to (ultimately) run the country and whose day-to-day activity keeps the whole democracy show on the road. And these are often the same community-minded people who might also run a local charity or the village fete.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 5 Comments
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