Now that polls have closed, I assume that the Returning Officer won't mind if I write about one of the more unusual contests down the bill of internal Party contests, for eight places on the ELDR Council Delegation.
It's my first ever attempt to gain Federal office, made all the more interesting by the presence of the Right Honourable Baroness Scott of Needham Market on the same ballot, a rare husband versus wife contest. Unlike Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper, we felt comfortable about competing against each other, especially as we have rather different reasons for running.
After two years as Party President, Ros has been disappointed by the lack of engagement from our UK Parliamentarians with ELDR. The myriad reasons as to why this might be put aside, it is still troubling that there was not a single MP or Peer could make it to Helsinki for last month's ELDR Congress (Ros was taken ill the day before). ELDR provides an opportunity to establish relationships with key figures in our European sister parties, and now that we are in government, the opportunity should not be lost.
As for me, I was astonished that there is little reporting of ELDR activity. We send a delegation to the Council, which has a key organisational role, a bit like our own dear Federal Executive, and yet there is little awareness that it even exists. I'm never keen on authority without accountability, and I have an internationalist track record, so I think I can contribute.
It has presented some of our friends with a dilemma, in that they aren't certain in which order they should place us. We'll know if they got it right soon enough...
Given how popular Ros already is, I had no doubt how to cast my vote - Valladares first, Scott second.
-- another first-time candidate for federal office
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