Tuesday, November 08, 2016

So, why the @ALDEParty Council delegation?...

Yesterday, I wrote about what I offer in terms of the International Relations Committee. Today, it's the turn of the Party's delegation to the ALDE Party Council...

Traditionally, candidates for the delegation have talked about their commitment to the European idea, about their belief in policy ideas. And, equally traditionally, I mutter darkly about the small matter that the ALDE Party Council doesn't have much to do with policy making. I tend to focus on what the Council is for, monitoring the work of the Bureau and the Secretariat, considering new membership applications and the Statutes, querying expenditure and debating recommendations for future activities.

And the curious thing is that, for all the enthusiasm that some candidates bring to the contest, I'm still one of the relatively few who take a keen interest in the papers in advance of the meeting, and add my comments as and when I feel that they are of help.

There are even fewer who spend as much time on the inner workings of the ALDE Party as I do, given that I serve on its Financial Advisory Committee (think 'audit and compliance function'), and offer an initial view on such things as proposals for membership subscription levels, revised representation structures and ethical fundraising guidelines.

For, after thirty years as a Party bureaucrat, I have a pretty good idea where I would bury the bodies, were I so inclined. I know how organisations work, how decisions get taken, who is responsible and who should be. And, more importantly, I understand that process matters. I also have an acute understanding of what is possible, and what level of administrative burden is appropriate or even manageable. I'd say that this all goes to make me a good person to scrutinise the work of the Bureau and the Secretariat on your behalf.

I've managed, I think, to establish credibility with all concerned as being fair, reasonable and, above all, constructive. I want things to work for everyone, so I don't take a narrow view based on what is best solely for my Party.

Over the past six years as a member of our delegation, I've drafted those ethical fundraising guidelines, campaigned for a membership fee structure that reflects the ability of smaller parties to pay, picked budgets apart and supported innovative projects designed to add value to both the ALDE Party and its member parties. I've also reported back, via my blog and Liberal Democrat Voice, so that you have a chance to find out what is happening.

Why? Because effective political parties, be they national or pan-European, matter. They are the means by which the individual can influence the political agenda and, in a contest of ideas, you want yours to have a solid foundation for propagation.

So, I ask you to vote for me - for efficient bureaucracy, for keen scrutiny and for better governance.

Thank you.

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