Firstly, all best wishes to our readers; we trust you are keeping well, occupied and positive in these extraordinary times.
Much political work has of course been delayed or stopped due to the pandemic; however, we had a LDER executive meeting (via Zoom of course – though in our case we’ve already been using Zoom for a few years, so it was biz as usual in that regard!) and have this report.
MAKE VOTES MATTER – call for PR speakers
Do you want to raise awareness of proportional representation and the urgency of electoral reform? Now is your chance –
Make Votes Matter (MVM) already has a PR speaker database. Until now it has focused mainly on Labour; going forward it wants to expand its speakers list to include local Liberal Democrat parties, as well as other relevant organisations and parties.
LDER is backing this expansion of speakers. Local and regional Liberal Democrat parties sometimes ask us for a PR speaker – it has not always been possible to respond positively and we want to change that.
We appreciate this initiative from our MVM colleagues: getting electoral reform onto local party events and agendas will be a very positive upgrading of our efforts. Informing and motivating our own grass roots members is an LDER key goal. (Obviously face to face meetings will depend on lifting of lockdown restrictions: in the meantime we can use remote platforms such as Zoom).
If you would be willing to join the MVM PR speaker list, please click and complete this form. MVM will respond directly. Thanks in advance for joining this effort.
PETITIONING MPs FOR PR
Liberal Democrat member Theo Morgan has set up a petition, demanding a parliamentary debate on PR. It needs 100,000 signatures by September to be debated in Parliament, so please click and sign: Introduce proportional representation for all UK elections. We need to use all tools to keep up the pressure for change and for a democracy fit for the 21st century.
ELECTORAL REFORM PODCAST
John Potter’s ‘LibDemPod’ no 16 (April 24 2020) has an interview with LDER exec member Keith Sharp on the prospects for electoral reform. John’s idea is to find out what visitors to our exhibition stall in York would have heard, had the conference not been cancelled due to COVID. Listen to it here.
AUTUMN CONFERENCE – GOING VIRTUAL
We had a great York Conference in March lined up – as well as our popular exhibition stall, we were set for a great fringe meeting, led by Wendy Chamberlain MP, our spokesperson on political and electoral reform, and with speakers from allied organisations Make Votes Matter, the Electoral Reform Society and Unite to Reform. There was also to be a conference debate on our electoral reform policy.
And then — all of course stopped when COVID caused the conference to be cancelled.
We’ll keep trying! We know the September Conference will have to be held remotely, given continuing social safety restrictions. Once we know the conditions and format of this first virtual conference, we will do our best to recreate the excitement and activities that were set for York. We’re already discussing possibilities with the Federal Policy Committee.
It’s early days: as soon is this situation becomes clearer, we’ll be back in touch.