I'm going to be standing for the Lib Dem Federal Conference Committee in the upcoming internal elections. This is manifesto I'm standing on:
Who I Am
I'm George Potter, member of Liberal Youth, member of the Social Liberal Forum and member of the Lib Dem Disability Association. I'm also a student of engineering at the University of Surrey and a disability rights campaigner.
What I Stand For
There are various issues which have motivated me to stand for the FCC but my main motive is that I feel that conference is good but could be much better. And my aim in standing is to try to tackle issues which I feel have not been adequately addressed so far. In particular, I'm concerned with two key issues:
Stopping Accreditation - It is utterly illiberal that all our members are required to have their privacy invaded by the police if they want to attend conference - especially as there has not been one shred of evidence provided to suggest it would make anyone safer. With some members not coming to conference because of accreditation we need to find a way to stop it.
Unfortunately, I do not think the current FCC has done enough to find a way to avoid accreditation and, if elected, I will push strongly to try and stop it. And, crucially, I will be open about the process so that everyone can know what solutions have been attempted and what options the FCC has looked at.
Widening Access to Conference - In Brighton, 350 voting reps made policy decisions for a party of 45,000 people. We might be a democratic party but a situation like this cannot be right when we all know that many local parties are unable to send their full quota of reps to conference.
One of the major reasons for this is the cost of attending conference and the lack of suitable accommodation and facilities at conference locations also excludes many disabled people. In a party like ours that should not be acceptable.
Therefore, if elected, I will look hard at finding solutions to allow more people to take part in conference even if they’re unable to physically attend. One option might be allowing voting reps to watch the conference debates and vote online if they’re unable to attend in person, for example.
Conference shouldn’t be for the few - it should be for the many. Accreditation and lack of accessibility prevent that which is why I pledge to work to resolve both those issues if I am elected.
Any questions? Please feel free to contact me in the comments below if you have any.