Saturday, November 16, 2019

A bureaucrat, a glass of Transnistrian brandy and some election results...

All good things must come to an end, I am told, and my time on the Party's Federal International Relations Committee has come to an end after five occasionally glorious years, following today's publication of the Federal Party election results.

In truth, I didn't do too badly, coming seventh on first preferences in an election for six vacancies although, in the final analysis, I was pushed down to eighth on transfers, but only just. And, given that I was beaten by some very worthy candidates, I can't really complain. Some churn is necessary to keep committees fresh, and I am no exception to that desirable rule.

Indeed, of the five members who ran for re-election, only two of us survived, with some interesting new members replacing us.

Hannah Bettsworth returns to the committee in a new guise, having previously represented the Young Liberals in her past life as their International Officer.

Doreen Huddart is an old friend, a fellow Returning Officer and candidate assessor but, more saliently, has served on the EU Committee of the Regions for two decades now. She knows how Europe works, and will add her own inimitable style to proceedings. She likes to do things, rather than be things.

Philippa Leslie-Jones is, I admit, a bit of a mystery to me, but as a former diplomat, you can hardly doubt her credibility as a member of the new committee.

Ruth Coleman-Taylor is another old friend, and has been an active member of our delegations to both the ALDE Party Council and Congress for many years, and is totally committed in her internationalism.

The two survivors are Phil Bennion and Jonathan Fryer, both of whom are well known and well regarded, so it is a strong committee going forward.

So, four women and two men, which is a bit unusual in historical terms, the committee having been a bit "male heavy" in the past.

I have one final task to perform, having been asked to act as Returning Officer for the election of a new Chair. One of the above six will fill the role, as per the Federal Constitution, and I will be working with Denali Ranasinghe, FIRC's Secretary, to progress this.

I also ran to return to the ALDE Party Council delegation after a three year break and, on first sight, it looks like I lost. There is a complication though, as we elected six members. The ALDE Party Standing Orders state that a member party's entitlement of Council delegates is linked to its electoral performance and is updated on 1 January of the year following the last set of national elections. So, if we do well, I might yet be back.

I may have rather more personal interest in our performance on 12 December than I had expected...

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