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How Lib Dem Members Can Shape Future Party Policies

March 7, 2008 9:14 AM
By Jeremy Hargreaves - Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrats' Federal Policy Committee in www.libdemvoice.org

One of the features which marks out the way in which we Liberal Democrats as a party make our policies is that they are decided by the members, not just by the Leader and Shadow Cabinet.

We often tend to focus on the fact that all policies have to be voted on by Conference.

But in fact there is another way in which all party members - including those who aren't able to go to Conference - can have what is probably an even greater influence on what our policies are.

And that's through the process by which every working group preparing a policy to take to conference publishes a consultation paper, setting out some background and asking some key questions, at http://consult.libdems.org.uk/. Any party member who is interested in developing our policies could and should take advantage of this to feed in their views.

Some party members frequently complain that by the time proposals come to conference it is difficult to influence exactly what the proposals say - but then often don't take up any of the many opportunities that there are to participate in shaping those proposals at an earlier stage, when this very much is possible.

Working groups are currently seeking views and input from members in three areas. Members can contribute in these areas by attending their consultative session at conference, by writing to the chair of the group (something always open to any party member) - or through the special website at http://consult.libdems.org.uk/ that all working groups have. Each group's site contains the consultation paper, and a discussion forum.

  • Jeremy Hargreaves is Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrats' Federal Policy Committee (FPC), which is responsible for the party's policy making.

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