LibDem leadership rules

There’s been a bit of chatter over the fact that the party’s leadership election rules mean the candidates don’t get given copies of the party’s membership lists – this was a decision made by the party’s conference when it voted on the rules a few years ago. Ah democracy … !

All the leadership candidates are understandably wary about talking about the rules – as it can so easily sound like special pleading. But there is clearly widespread unhappiness with this rule. In public elections, candidates get to know who the electors are and their contact details (from the electoral register) – so why shouldn’t the same apply to Lib Dem internal elections? In fact – it does apply to many of our internal elections, such as for Parliamentary candidates, but not for leader. Giving the candidates the list of members would also mean we skip all the worries (and sometimes down right silliness) over what records different people can or can’t use. What’s a personal record that is ok to use and what is an official party record this is not ok to use? Is my address book on my computer at home ok to use, but not the one in the party’s office? Etc.

So – just a quick suggestion to anyone who thinks the rules don’t make sense. Doubtless there will be a review as ever afterwards as to how the rules went – so don’t forget to let the Acting Returning Officer (Chris Rennard) know your views, so they can feature in any review. In fact – why not tell him your views now, so you don’t forget afterwards? You can write to him at 4 Cowley St, London, SW1P 3NB or use the Lib Dem feedback form.

I’m sure Chris is very busy with both the leadership election and the very winnable Dunfermline by-election campaign – but sending in comments which don’t require an immediate reply but can instead be complied after the election is over would be a good move I think.

PS You can get details of all the leadership candidates – including websites etc – on the main Lib Dem website.