Monday, 14 March 2011

Diverse Opinions

Lib Dem conference seems to be going down the Labour route of quotas and "positive" discrimination. This is a shortsighted policy and counter productive to the actual aims.

It is also extremely illiberal.

What is at the heart of the lack of diversity is the culture resultant from being an activist led party. Unless Liberal Democrats stop choosing candidates on the basis of how much shoe leather they can wear out or financially contribute to the party, there is little hope of changing the situation.

Right after conference and without irony Tim Farron sent out the following to party members:

If you're only going to take one thing away from Spring Conference, let it be this: where we work hard, we win.

Now go home and work your socks off and win!

Well that's the disabled off the list. Women with families. People who already spend a lot of time involved with community associations or religious congregations.

This is also not helped by the party sweeping bullying and harrasment under the carpet when it is reported to them. Lib Dems are a volunteer party. You do not become a Lib Dem because you are after power. No-one has to do it and people being bullied can simply walk away. And they do.

The diversity question is not a problem with discrimination. It is a problem with the campaigning culture and the macho-activism that goes with it.

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