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Are you a Federal Conference representative? You have just five days left to vote in the Federal Committee elections

November 16, 2014 1:57 PM
In Liberal Democrat Voice
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

So, here's all you need to know.

How do I vote?

Voting papers were distributed by email to all those federal voting representatives for whom the party had an email address on the morning of Monday 3 November. It came from Electoral Reform Services and has a two part security code and a link to enable you to vote.

Those for whom the party did not have an email address were sent a letter advising them how to vote online and if they weren't able to do that, to contact LDHQ for advice.

If you haven't had either of these and you are a Federal Conference voting representative, contact returning.officer@libdems.org.uk as soon as possible.

When do I have to vote by?

Thursday, 20th November at noon. So, less than 5 days from now. NB this is not the same as for the Presidential election which closes on 26th November.

When will we know who has won?

Sometime next Saturday, 22nd November. BUT, when we asked the Returning Officer David Allworthy this question, he asked if we could also mention that volunteers are needed to help with the count for the Presidential Election the following Saturday, 29th November. It'll be held in London. If you can help him, please contact him on david.allworthy@libdems.org.uk.

How do I find out about the candidates?

There are many ways. First of all, when you click on the voting link, you can find the candidates' manifestos. Mark Pack has also cleverly embedded them on his blog.

In addition, Jennie Rigg has been asking all the candidates questions. See who has replied here.

And if you are on social media, you probably won't have been able to avoid enthusiastic candidates inviting you to vote for them.

What do those committees do anyway?

From the Liberal Democrat website (members' section):

The Federal Executive - 15 Places to be elected

The Federal Executive (FE) is responsible for directing, co-ordinating and implementing the work of the Federal Party, including overall strategy, campaigning, organisation and staffing. The Federal Finance and Administration Committee, Campaigns and Communications Committee and International Relations Committee all report to the FE.

The FE has 29 voting members: the Party President (who is the chair) and three Vice Presidents; the Leader and two other MPs; one peer; one MEP; two councillors; three state party reps; and fifteen members directly elected by conference reps.

The Federal Policy Committee - 15 Places to be elected

The Federal Policy Committee (FPC) is responsible for developing policy and overseeing the Federal Party's policy making process. This includes producing policy papers for debate at conference, and drawing up (in consultation with the relevant parliamentary party) the Federal election manifesto for Westminster and European elections.

The FPC has 29 voting members: the Party Leader and four other MPs; the Party President; one peer; one MEP; three councillors; three state party reps; and fifteen members directly elected conference reps. It must be chaired by one of the five MP members.

The Federal Conference Committee - 12 Places to be elected

The Federal Conference Committee (FCC) is responsible for organising the two Federal Conferences each year. This includes choosing the agenda from amongst the policy and business motions submitted by conference reps, local, regional and state parties, specified associated organisations and Federal committees, and also taking decisions on topics such as venues, registration rates and other administrative and organisational matters. It works with a budget set by the FFAC.

The FCC has 21 voting members: The Party President: the Chief Whip; three state party reps; two reps from the FE and two from the FPC; and twelve members directly elected by conference reps. It elects its own Chair (currently Andrew Wiseman) who must be one of the directly elected or state party reps.

The International Relations Committee - 5 Places to be elected

The International Relations Committee (IRC) of the party is a sub-committee of the Federal Executive. It meets 4 times a year, and acts as the consultative and co-ordinating body of the party regarding its activities on the international stage. Additionally, meetings are called to prepare resolutions for Liberal International and ELDR Committee meetings and Congresses in conjunction with the Party's delegates to these occasions.

The committee consists of representatives of Federal Committees, relevant international bodies, parliamentary representatives and co-opted experts, and is led by a Chairperson elected by the Federal Executive. Five members of the Committee are elected by conference reps

ALDE Delegation - 8 Places to be elected

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE) is the European Political Party to which the Liberal Democrats belong. Since its beginnings in 1993, the party has grown, with current membership from 57 European Political Parties with common liberal, democratic and reform ideals and is the forum for member parties to develop a co-ordinated policy. Within ALDE, we have 1 Member of the European Parliament (MEPs). The membership of the ALDE Party is composed of member parties, affiliate parties and individual members, and also incorporates LYMEC, the youth movement, which brings together more than 170,000 young liberal Europeans.

So, now your memory has been jogged, make sure you cast your vote. These are critical times for our party and you need to have your say about who is best to fill these crucial roles.