What can the party do to encourage better e-campaigning?

In early March 2009 renowned Lambeth bakers De Lieto applied for planning permission for a new bakery. Lambeth Council astoundingly decided that the local residents would be distressed by the smell.

In stepped local Lib Dem councillors Rob Banks and Andrew Sawdon. There followed a rapid online and offline campaign to get residents to sign a petition in favour of the bakery, with over 100 petitions through De Lieto’s front door in less than 24 hours. A combination of leaflets, emails, Rob and Andrew’s superb blog and the council rapidly u-turned. More on this story can be found here.

This simple campaign gave Oval a new business during a recession, made it smell nicer and reinforced our councillor’s reputations as hard working and effective with several hundred of the local residents.

This is exactly the sort of simple and effective campaigning that the ‘Hearts & minds’ sub group of the newly established Liberal Democrat Technology Advisory Board wants to promote. Email and virtually all internet tools are free and easy to use. And the party does a lot of good training on how to use them.

So our initial question to the readers of Lib Dem Voice is what can we do to encourage people to e-campaign more?

Our initial thoughts are that some of it comes down to basic mentoring that encourages people to experiment with new ways of doing things. And while the party provides a lot of useful tools there are probably ways they could be more usable.

What do you think? Please leave suggestions below or email me at [email protected]

P.S. I’ve not named the other ‘hearts and minds’ members because I’m still calling them and asking them to join. And if you have a good idea for a member, or would like to nominate yourself please let me know.

Rob Blackie heads up the ‘Hearts & minds’ sub group of the Technology Board. Rob is a Lib Dem activist who has been involved in the party at local and national level for 10 years. He has a semi secret blog at rob-blackie.blogspot.com

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This entry was posted in Lib Dem TV and Online politics.


  • I’m not sure that you are meant to take Rob’s “semi-secret” description too seriously. I’d assumed Rob was simply implying that his blog is not is not actively promoted or perhaps just not read by many people.

    On the substance of the issue I’d do more e-campaigning mainly if I could find more time. When I have dabbled in it has been quite effective, especially when linked to what is described here as “offline campaigning.

    By the way the “found here” link at the end of the second paragraph seems to be missing.

  • Rob Blackie 2nd Apr '09 - 8:14pm

    Jon – thanks for the comment – I’m interested to hear more details about your experience, and what offline campaigning you’re doing.

    Mark – thanks.

    Graham – semi-secret means that I do virtually nothing to promote it and use it mainly to remind myself of thoughts I’ve had later on. I’ll put smileys next time. 🙂

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