|A bureaucrat (right) seeks policy compromise|
that works for (nearly) everyone...
... the nomination papers are in, and accepted, the manifestos designed and submitted, and all that is left is the campaign.
So, why am I running, and why should you vote for me?
Let's start with the International Relations Committee...
I ran two years ago more in hope than expectation. Yes, I felt that I could contribute, but there are lots of Liberal Democrats who have an interest in international politics, and who are better known than I am, so I didn't set my sights much beyond making a decent showing. Coming fourth was a bit of a surprise...
Since then, I've rather thrown myself into the role, bringing to the table my knowledge of the inner workings of the ALDE Party gleaned from five years as a member of its Financial Advisory Committee, a firm grasp of constitutions and an awareness of when and how to keep meetings moving.
Earlier this year, in anticipation of the outcome of the Party's Governance Review, I assumed the role of Committee Secretary, thus taking a little of the pressure off of the professional Party staff. It will become a key role within the workings of the committee, as communication between our committee and, in particular, the Federal Policy Committee will become more important given the IRC's new responsibilities in policy making. The relationship between the two committees will need to be developed, so as to ensure a harmonious partnership rather than a turf war. As a bureaucrat with an eye for the important of stakeholders, I think that I have much to contribute here.
One thing that I think will be important over the next year or so is to evolve our approach towards our European sister parties in the light of Brexit. Assuming that Article 50 is invoked, our delegation to ALDE Party Congresses will have no formal say over the manifesto for the 2019 European Parliamentary elections. That means that we need to take a more conciliatory view, looking to take a more broadly European than narrowly British view. It also means showing a little more self-awareness than some of our delegates have in the past. We need to be seen as helpful, not obstructive.
I am also keen to see us use our international links to explore new policy ideas, sometimes simply referring them onto Federal Policy Committee for their consideration, in appropriate instances developing them further ourselves.
Finally, I am of the view that we need to do much more to engage the wider Party. We've just recruited 20,000 or so new members who joined because of our pro-European, internationalist philosophy. If the International Relations Committee isn't engaging with them, what is it for? I would want the new Committee to be much more visible, speaking at Conference, proposing motions for debate, writing pieces for Party publications and websites such as Liberal Democrat Voice. I have a record of engagement, and am proud of that.
Tomorrow, I'll write about the ALDE Party Council...
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