Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Liberal Democrats are still a long way from OMOV

Harry Hayfield has an article on Liberal Democrat Voice about the motion before the Liberal Democrat Conference this weekend that would legalise the use of cannabis.

I don't agree with the line he takes on that, but I was struck by something he wrote:
I have lived with my grandparents all my life and as a result, especially since 2005 as I have been their registered carer, I have moved wherever and whenever they have moved and this means that since I became a Liberal Democrat in 1992, I have been all over the place. 
However, there is one small downside to this and that is being able to get to big Lib Dem events. In those 24 years I have only managed to attend one regional conference, three Welsh conferences and no federal conferences or special conferences.
In recent years I have found myself steadily falling into a similar situation. My mother has become increasingly frail, with the result that I have to spend more and more time helping her over at her house. I now found it hard to be away from Leicestershire for more than a couple of days.

The result of this is that is a while since I have attended Lib Dem Conference and it is unlikely to get any easier for me to do so in the future.

There must be many members in this position and many more who cannot attend Conference for other personal reasons.

Yet this is a perspective that we have rarely heard in the debate over one member one vote (OMOV) in the party.

That debate has largely involved young members who have the time and funds to attend conference but lacked the contacts in the party to get themselves elected by their constituency as a representative under the old rules.

They have won their case, but if OMOV is to be a reality then the party will have to reach out to people beyond this group.

The only thing I can see helping me participate at present is some form of online voting. But will the pressure for that be kept up now the people who were pushing for OMOV have had their own grievances met?

Anyway, enjoy York. I wish I could be with you.

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