Why are you a Liberal Democrat?

That’s the question Tim Farron is asking this evening in the following mail to members:

I want you to tell me why you’re a Liberal Democrat! What do you think are the party’s unique values, beliefs and approach? And what do they have to offer the country over the next five years?

Discussing and debating these issues is an essential element of the party’s fightback; the party’s philosophy provides the backbone on which our policies and campaigns are built.

This is the focus of the Federal Policy Committee’s Agenda 2020 exercise, which we kicked off this summer. We aim to foster party-wide debate and discussion on what Liberal Democrats stand for, analyse the policy challenges the UK will be facing over the next five years, and map out a process of policy development to which party members can contribute.

The starting point is the consultation paper and accompanying collection of essays which we published in the lead-up to autumn conference. We’d like to hear your thoughts on the paper; the deadline for responding is 9 November.

We’re also running an essay competition, open to any party member: tell us in no more than 1,000 words ‘What does it means to be a Liberal Democrat today?’. The deadline is also 9 November.

We want to encourage a wide-ranging debate within the party, involving as many members and local parties as possible. I hope you can organise discussion sessions through your regional conferences and local party meetings. Do let us know if you’d like a speaker from the FPC to any such events – but please give us as much notice as possible (contact [email protected]).

The next stage in the process will be a more detailed consultation paper for the spring conference, which will begin to map out the key areas on which the party needs to develop policy, and the main themes around which these policies will be developed.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Tim Farron

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in Party policy and internal matters.


  • Because Labour need to keep out of the boardroom, and the Tories need to keep out of the bedroom, and arbitary borders and nation states are a relic of the past.

  • David Warren 20th Oct '15 - 9:29pm

    I am a Liberal because I believe in liberty, freedom and the rights of the individual.

    The alternatives are the tyranny of collectivism and authoritarianism.

  • Didn’t we do this already on LDV a few months ago?

  • Terry Balfour 20th Oct '15 - 10:05pm

    I am Liberal as I believe in the preamble on my membership card.

    Also, I chose the Gladstone design, as I associate myself with classical liberalism first and foremost.

  • Karin Kennedy 21st Oct '15 - 12:48am

    I agree to everything Alderman says. Communication communication communication. I would also add a sense of priorities – some policies are more important than others. This does not come across.

  • Barry Fleet 21st Oct '15 - 4:10pm

    Re David Beckett’s comment, a solar power firm local to me , Climate Energy, is going under with the loss of 85 jobs, so I ‘ve written to the local press attacking this mad Tory policy.

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