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Prateek's answers:

1, Which of the following activities do you consider the most dangerous and why?
- taking a single ecstasy tablet
- taking an advanced motorcycle riding test
- giving birth

According to ONS data, in 2011, there were 8 deaths in 2010 due to MDMA (ecstasy) toxicity, 63 due to pregnancy and childbirth (261 in three yrs 2006-08), and 549 deaths on motorcycles in 2009 (there are no readily available stats on deaths while taking a motorcycle test that I can find!!). Assuming therefore that taking a motorcycle test opens you up to subsequent risk of death by motorcycle, I would order the risks as follows (if the test itself is the risk you're asking about, I'm guessing 1 and 2 would be reversed...):

- taking a single ecstasy tablet - 3

- taking an advanced motorcycle riding test - 1

- giving birth - 2

2, What four pledges would you put on the front of the next Lib Dem manifesto?
Living wage through workplace democracy, elected local health and education boards, delivering green energy. housing and housing through co-investment, and a pledge saying that coalition compromises would not cross red lines of increasing gap in wealth and power between top and bottom

3, A genie appears and tells you that you can remove one law and make one law; what would you remove from the statute book and what would you add to the statute book?
Amazing question! I would remove RIPA and replace with less illiberal powers, and add a Public Interest Act that covers journalism (online and traditional) and other activities to ensure public interest is served at all times (a kind of amalgam between an improved Defamation Act going through Parliament now and post-Leveson legislation)

4, What balance should the committee give to the views of the leadership, the parliamentary panels and the membership in setting policy priorities?
Party members must remain the sovereign policy-making vehicle, through a more participatory Conference. In practice, of course, being in government means members, parliamentarians and everyone in between need to work as an effective partnership, with a lot more use being made of parliamentary spokespeople/panels/committees. Further thoughts are http://socialliberal.net/slf-publications/liberal-democrat-party-policy-making-in-coalition-a-social-liberal-forum-review/. I would give less weight to leadership views in the form of policy generated in Westminster, and allow/encourage more input from local campaigners and SAOs etc through more electronic engagement. In a crude sense, leadership:parliamentarians:membership ratio should be

1 : 1.5 : 2

5, How would you change the party’s procedures on gathering and analysing evidence when formulating policy?
this speech may give you an idea (sorry, a bit vain of me, but does sum up my thoughts!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjedzIQ7BPA&feature=plcp . Policy papers should be fully referenced, using peer-reviewed publication where possible, trials and pilot data should be used and/or commissioned wherever possible, evidence should be presented alongside policy, working groups (which in fairness do a lot of this fairly well already, better than any other party for sure!) should be encouraged to tap into expertise within the party and connections to academic/practitioner evidence in the real world. Huge amount party can do on evidence-based policy, I have an essay in preparation on this :-)

6, Which is more important - freedom from ignorance, poverty or conformity?
The freedom to live fulfilling lives, that we have reason to value and the capacity to determine the direction of, depends on a balance of these such that neither is of great value without the other. The question is how should public policy treat the three - I think that because freedom from conformity is a negative freedom (i.e. absence of coercion, rigidity), public policy should focus on removing ignorance and through that eliminating poverty - they will all feed into each other of course!

7, Are you a member of any (S)AOs or other pressure groups which might give us an insight into your policy priorities?
I am Director of the Social Liberal Forum, which exists "to promote social justice and actively narrow gaps in power and opportunity between the rich and poor." An insight into my policy priorities, in a sentence: we are freer to determine and pursue our own fulfilling lives when the political economy works to enhance our capabilities to do so - the state's role in securing such an environment is an active, empowering role that frames markets and institutions to enhance people's freedom." That's all a bit high-level actually - for actual priorities for FPC, check out http://prateek4fpc.wordpress.com/my-priorities-for-fpc/

8, Which external bodies would you like to see audit the manifesto to see if our policies are workable?
Institute for Fiscal Studies, Royal Society, Child Poverty Action Group amongst others

9, What proposals do you have to improve the process of negotiating policy priorities for a coalition agreement in the event of another hung parliament?
elect at least one member of coalition negotiation team directly (rest through electoral college maybe?), try to make sure a woman is in the room this time (!), ensure negotiating team understands membership/voter priorities before going into the room (to avoid tuition fees debacle...), ensure break clauses/red lines are clearly negotiated, allow Special Conference to vote before deal is sealed, and TAKE A LITTLE LONGER :-)

10, If elected, how do you plan to engage with the wider party?
Social media are key, already make heavy use but would like to expand. There need to be open, official channels of input to committee members from regions, SAOs etc, so maybe a dedicated email/web forum. Plus meeting people - although family life matters so electronic meetings always preferred :-)

11, Are you standing for any other committees, if so which ones, and if elected to more than one how do you plan to divide your time?
No



You can find links to all the other candidates' answers here

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