Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ALDE: listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds...

It's getting towards the time of year when thoughts turn to re-election, and as my second term as a member of the Liberal Democrat delegation to the Council of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) comes to an end on 31 December, I should be giving some thought towards a manifesto.

There are some new complications this year, in that gender balance will be more strictly enforced, which given that more men than women generally run, makes my prospects somewhat less rosy - c'est la vie, I guess. I am, it is true, somewhat more low profile than once I was, which probably doesn't help either, and I belong to a smallish, rather out of the way Local Party.

It would be nice to think that I could run on my record, but as hardly anyone knows what ALDE does, and even less what the Council is for, I'll be up against people who have views on European policy (even though it is Congress that makes policy, not Council), and have little or no interest in what Council does - it's the administrative bit of ALDE.

But I would rather like to get elected for another term. I like the way politics is done at European level, more collaborative, more consensual, I enjoy working with others to reach a policy solution that brings people together rather than driving them apart. And, at a time when domestic politics both within and beyond the Liberal Democrats is, to be frank, a bit depressing, doing something rather more positive is important.

So, I'll be pondering over the messages for my campaign, and working on the text of what will probably be just an A5 page in a large booklet of similar pleas for support. And whilst it might be premature for me to express a wish that you might look kindly upon my candidacy, do remember that, like most other candidates for elected Party office, I'm doing this because I want to serve my Party, not as some sort of quest for fame.

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