Thursday, October 05, 2006

Real democracy is about information and participation

I've been Regional Secretary for nearly two years now and it has been, to some extent, a little frustrating. I've enjoyed the role, especially the people I've met across London. I even flatter myself that, in some small way, I've helped some people to achieve their goals, be they political or organisational.

But if there has been a weakness, it has been in my responsibility for communication with other parts of the Party. In a troubling way, I wonder why I haven't come under pressure to do better. At least, I hadn't until now, but that's a story for another time.

The relationship between the Regional Party and its constituent Local Parties is a bit like that between the Executive Committee of a Local Party and the 'ordinary' members. And yet the sense of that has perhaps been lost. As Regional Secretary, I am responsible to members across the city and, whilst most armchair members wouldn't know, or frankly care, what I do in that capacity, if we were communicating properly, the local leadership would know if I wasn't doing it well.

And so I intend to put myself in a slightly precarious position. I will spend the next three months trying to create a means of proper communication with Local Party Officers, to encourage them to communicate with the Regional Executive, and to provide them with information that will enable them to hold us to account properly.

This might not prove to be that popular with all of my colleagues, although I hope to be proved wrong in that respect, but it seems like the right thing to do to me...


Duncan Borrowman said...

To be fair Mark, I don't think the pressure should be taken at all personally by you - the problem has existed for some time.

Delighted to see you are plannign to tackle it!

Liberal Legend said...

Good to see that you want to move things in the right direction Mark.