The Liberal Democrat challenges for 2012: Treating supporters as active participants

To mark the start of 2012, we’re running a series of posts over consecutive days on the main challenges for the Liberal Democrats in 2012. I’ve already written about the four priorities for the party’s new Chief Executive, Tim Gordon, but as the Liberal Democrats are more than just the one man whilst he has four, this series sets out six for the party.

Despite my comments about how risky the predictions business is, regular readers would hardly have been taking much of a gamble expecting me to return to the issue of treating people as active participants rather than passive spectators in this series.

Embracing the campaigning power of members and supporters (as Willie Rennie has done) would not only boost the party’s impact on government, it would also give members and supporters ways of feeling involved, committed and motivated – and to see how Liberal Democrat presence and pressure can make a difference:

Whether it is supporters writing letters to newspapers, members ringing radio phone-ins, bloggers accumulating the evidence for a key argument or activists working the Press Complaints Commission rules or editorial guidelines to make effective complaints there’s much that can be done to extend the party’s media impact.

Some of that requires other people in the party to take the lead or make decisions (hint, hint) but don’t fool yourself if you’re reading this by thinking it’s just an excuse to bemoan what others do.

It’s up to you too.

That, after all, is what liberal and community politics is all about. There’s power out there, waiting for you to take it and use it.

You can read the full set of challenges as they are published on Lib Dem Voice here.

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

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One Comment

  • What I feel is very important is to treat supporters [and Members] with respect and to value them for the people they are. They should not be treated just as deliverers and “foot soldiers” when letters and Focuses need to be delivered. They need to be valued in between times – we need our supporters and Members because, without them, we would not survive.

    They need to be included in all the business of the Local Parties: social events, training sessions, Conferences, opportunities for learning about Policies, writing motions, public speaking – all these things need to be made available. How else are we to find people who will be willing to stand as Local Councillors, MPs & MSPs? People need to be given the skills and knowledge – they cannot just “pick it up” on the way and expect to be “Politically savvy”.

    Please involve your supporters and your Members at all levels.

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