Tag Archives: VAN

Moving to CONNECT

The all-member edition of Liberal Democrat News recently posted out included this piece from myself about the party’s new electoral database software, CONNECT:

One of the big talking points amongst party activists at the Birmingham conference was CONNECT, the party’s new electoral database software which was put through many demonstrations to different groups of future users – data officers, treasurers, campaign organisers and so on.

Like others, I am impressed by its ability to make what we have tried to do in the past easier, more effective and quicker – especially given my experience using existing systems since the 1990s and also …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Free casework software coming for ALDC members

A great new benefit is on the way for members of ALDC, the Liberal Democrat body for councillors and campaigners – access to the CONNECT database’s casework system.

Starting early in 2012, all ALDC members will get access to CONNECT’s casework facilities for free (or rather, for no extra charge beyond their ALDC membership subscription). It is a logical extension of ALDC’s similar free provision of its MyCouncillor blogging system and will make a good system available to thousands of councillors.

One of the nice touches of …

Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Mark Sullivan on how his firm’s software helps win elections

Earlier in the week I blogged my interview with Mark Sullivan, who founded the firm that is supplying the party’s new CONNECT electoral database software. For some further background on him and his firm, here’s an interview Mark Sullivan gave in late 2008:

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Interviewing Mark Sullivan, the founder of the party’s new electoral database supplier

During the Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham, I had the chance to quiz Mark Sullivan (the founder of VAN, which is becoming the party’s new electoral database software under the name CONNECT).

I’m (like others) excited about the possibilities CONNECT will bring, partly because I’ve worked with EARS for just about two decades now. It has helped produce some stupendous election results and people involved with it have worked tremendously hard. But it also has some major limitations, particularly the number of bugs (including more than once data being lost on polling day), the haphazard record of delivering new …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , and | 15 Comments

The countdown to Connect has begun

News from Lib Dem HQ of the Liberal Democrats’ new campaign software:

Campaigning across the party is set to get a major boost when Connect comes online later this year. Connect is the UK version of the world’s leading campaign software that’s being built for the party by Voter Activation Network (VAN).

It is based on the tried and tested technology successfully used by Barack Obama and the Democrats in the US and in several other countries around the world. Connect combines high level security and stability, powerful campaigning tools …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

Thank you EARS, but the VAN is coming

Back in March, Mark Pack reported on a momentous move in the Lib Dems: from the EARS election software to Voter Activation Network, or VAN, which is used by Democrats in the US and the Canadian Liberal Party, amongst others.

EARS has done sterling service for the party over the years. I first used the DOS version of the software in the mid-nineties, when it had already been around for a few years. Younger readers may not have encountered the joys of the paper “Shuttleworths” that were used before EARS: sheet after sheet of knock-up lists, laboriously …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 54 Comments

Party looks to the US for new election database software

Excellent news from the Federal Executive this week with the decision to appoint a preferred supplier for a new election fighting computer database. Voter Activation Network, the US firm which services many Democrat Party candidates, has been selected with a view to signing a multi-year contract shortly.

Amongst the other bidders were the party’s long-running suppliers EARS (though they may still have a role to play as data suppliers, especially given the team’s expertise and experience in dealing with different electoral register formats).

EARS has provided a valuable service to the party for many years, but the old model of individual databases …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 15 Comments
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