miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Mood: And another thing)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I'm going to put this in small and easily understandable words for the hard of thinking (of which there appear to be many in the media and on t'intarwebz). I might, therefore, oversimplify things a bit. If I do, I'm sure my fellow Lib Dems will pile in and correct me.

At Lib Dem Party Conference, the membership decides party policy. Now, I realise that's a difficult concept for most of you to grasp because you still haven't fucking grasped it, so I'm going to unpack that a little for you. It goes like this.
  1. Someone has an idea for a policy - might be the Leader, might be Vince Cable, might be me, might be ANY party member.
  2. They submit this idea to Federal Policy Committee - elected by the membership - who have a look at it and decide whether or not it's sensible enough to put before conference. If our hypothetical policy has some merit, and is properly researched, and has evidence backing its viability, FPC will put it before conference.
  3. Conference then debate it, and then vote on whether or not the party should adopt it
Now, there's still room for some misconceptions here so I'll clear those up for you:
  • The leadership's policy ideas do not just get "nodded through" - see the bloody nose they got on tuition fees this week.
  • This is not a "spat" or "infighting" or "indecision" or "confusion" or "disloyalty". It's a proper, open, transparent decision-making process, so that not only does everyone know what our policies are, but they know how we arrived at the conclusions we did.
  • Conference is not a grandstanding opportunity for media-savvy scripted speeches, it's a DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
Is this clear enough, or are people still going to make lazy straw men? No, don't answer that, I think I already know.

This blog is proudly sponsored by Andrew Hickey, who will get a pretty logo when I get back from conference and have time to arse about with the graphics prog.

Date: Friday, September 25th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
As I understand it from various posts from people like James Graham, though, Cable and Clegg have been announcing various things as policy (or as not policy) without actually going through that process, which might contribute to the bad impression the conference has given...

Date: Friday, September 25th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)
From: [personal profile] matgb
Sometimes it's the media though--I recall one release where they were clearly talking up the new proposals for debate at conference, and the media just wrote it up as Lib Dem policy. There's a definite tendency for leadership to get carried away, but they did get a very deliberate slap from FPC this conference as a polite reminder of procedure, which was nice.

Date: Saturday, September 26th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
Well, that's good - although it suggests he needs to learn to deal with the press much better than he does at the moment. A LOT of people - and people like James G, who I trust - have been presenting this as some kind of big leadership vs FPC clash. I'll take your word for it that that's not Clegg's intention, but it sounded - from following on Twitter and LDV rather than being there - like some huge problem... I'm very glad that it isn't.

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