Tag Archives: party management

Are the Liberal Democrats manageable?

Two weeks ago, I wrote a piece questioning a proposal for managing the Party through a Steering Group, pointing out that, based on what I had been led to understand, it appeared to duplicate existing bodies while adding another step between those in charge and those to whom they are accountable. Subsequently, there were reassurances given, which I think were reasonable.

But today, I have another question.

When the Liberal Democrats were formed, it was said that it was a merger of one Party whose motto was “never trust the members” with another whose motto was “never trust the leadership”. The problem is, that the two beliefs continue to run in parallel, and are reflected in how we run our Party today.

Posted in Op-eds | 40 Comments

How the Party is managed – can you be democratic and efficient?

As something of a governance geek, and a veteran Party bureaucrat, I tend to take an interest in how my Party is run and led. Policy is interesting yes, but you can tell a lot about any organisation by whether how it operates is in accordance with its declared values.

The “problem” with that is, if your values refer to democracy, transparency and accountability, you might not achieve optimal efficiency, if efficiency is defined as “getting things done”. It is a more pressing concern if you want to change things, and most, if not all, Party Presidents are elected on a mandate of changing things. The catch is that there are very few levers that a President can pull that actually do anything – they rely on people skills to persuade those who actually have operating authority to act as they wish them to.

Posted in Op-eds, Party policy and internal matters and Party Presidency | Also tagged and | 19 Comments
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