So, I fought two elections and emerged with a 50% success rate. Given that I don’t generally benefit from group endorsements, and am not wildly keen on “slates”, I rely more than some on the friends I’ve made over the years and the strength of my manifesto. Luckily, longevity and a willingness to do those jobs that people need doing but would rather not do themselves, means that I know a lot of people (or, rather more importantly, they know me).
A study of the endless count sheets for Federal Council will show that there was one candidate who was neither elected or eliminated. That would be me. I hovered between 20th and 23rd throughout the count but, in the end, fell just short. In the event of a vacancy through resignation or death, I’m in with a shot of promotion, although there are no guarantees in a recount - it depends on who goes and where their votes are redistributed.
Coming, effectively, 22nd out of 59 is pretty good, if not good enough, so I can’t be truly unhappy with the outcome. And I’m always pleasantly surprised by the level of support that I get, given that I’m not at the core of anything much these days, so I must thank all of you who did vote for me, wherever that might have been in your preference order.
The contest itself was not for the faint-hearted, and I have a sense that Federal Council may be a bit of a bearpit - it’s not entirely clear to me that some successful candidates are particularly bothered about more than a very narrow agenda. That, however, is not something that I can do much about, so I won’t lose sleep about it.
Having lost that, my expectations in the contest for a place on the ALDE delegation were lowered somewhat. Whilst there were ten vacancies, three were effectively gone already as I’m not Scottish, Welsh or young. It was therefore a bit of a surprise when word came that I’d actually won. Admittedly, I have no idea how, as the actual count information hasn’t been published, but I probably came in the top seven in a tough field, so I’m really pleased. It was, it seems, a complex count, needing five recounts, so I’ll be intrigued to see how it all unfolded.
I’ve really enjoyed my time attending ALDE Party Council meetings - they suit my skill set as a bureaucrat, reader of constitutions and keen process geek. I actually think that I add value, confirmed by one of the responses to my reaction on Twitter.
I’ve built a strong relationship with the ALDE Party’s secretariat, partly because I think that it’s important to work effectively with the professional team but also because, in my experience, politicians can be weak on process and sometimes lacking in respect for those who have to deliver their decisions - you can take the boy out of the Civil Service, but you can’t take the Civil Service out of the boy. In return, they’ve been supportive when I’ve wanted to change things, tolerant of my occasional flights of fancy and kind on occasions when it has mattered.
All in all, I have much to be grateful for, and another three years in which to represent my Party and, hopefully, do good. And, as I promised, you’ll hear about it here… and here…