Sunday, December 07, 2008

List elections - will this necessarily help?

In a darkened corner of Liberal Democrat News, I note an announcement of a review of the Party's experience in PR elections across the UK.

The Federal Executive, in its wisdom, has appointed Brian Orrell and James Gurling to carry out the review. Whilst I for one might feel that individuals with a stronger campaigning record might have been more optimal, my primary question is why two members resident in inner London are appropriate, given that we fight list elections in every Region and State.

Alright, we also have Assembly elections in London, but there are Parliamentary and now local government elections in Scotland, and Assembly elections in Wales. At a time when there is an increasing sense of disconnect between the centre and the States and Regions, what message does this send out?

However, we have what we have. If you know more than the review team do, or at least, think you do, let Brian know at Brian.Orrell(at spambot) The advert says keep your comments, observations or learnings(?) as brief as possible, and make sure that you get them to him by 31 December. Stick to the date, but tell him exactly what you think. Our future prospects might depend upon it...


Jennie said...

"At a time when there is an increasing sense of disconnect between the centre and the States and Regions, what message does this send out?"

Oooh, oooh, I know this one! It's "we don't know how to do videoconferencing", isn't it? Or is it "Everyone important lives in, or can easily get to, London anyway!"? That one seems popular with all political parties, and the media.

Stephen Glenn said...

I agree very disapointing. The Scottish party has experience of top up lists and full STV elections (rather than just down to 2nd preference for London Mayoral).

Being Northern Irish born and bred of course I actually have in the past had to stop myself going 1,2,3 etc on every non-Westminster ballot paper I came across, and settle for a humble anonymous x, or several, or one in each column, or whatever.

Liberal Neil said...

Yes, it is probably not ideal to have two people from one Region doing this, particulalry as that one Region has a unique set of issues around its roster of elections.

However the key skills needed by the writers of a report like this are the ability to identify the right people to ask, to listen critically to those people, to assess relvant evidence and to write a coherent summary.

They don't necessarily need to be skilled campaigners themselves. (Although to be fair both of them have reasonable experience of that).

I would hope that they will be seeking advice from the various people who have been involved in running list election campaigns all round the country (and abroad, even) where several of us have already learned many lessons the hard way.