The latest issue in a long-running saga with the Federal Party of the Liberal Democrats has raised its head today.
At least one of our Northern Ireland members received an email today regarding the selection of candidates for election to the European Parliament.
Jonathan Davies, Senior Returning Officer writes, (with my comments in RED appended)
This autumn we will be selecting our candidates for the next European elections, which take place in 2014. (Oh good, that’ll help us all be able to campaign effectively.) I know these are elections in which many members living outside the UK have a special interest, (I’m sure that members who live outside the UK do have such an interest) so I am pleased to be able to tell you how you can take part in the selection. But to participate, you need to take action now.
All Liberal Democrat members living outside the UK who are registered to vote in UK elections can vote in the selection. (Northern Ireland is not outside the UK.) If you are not already registered, click here to find out more.
To take part in this autumn’s selection of European Parliamentary candidates, you must register with Party HQ not later than 31st August. Please click here and complete your details to register. You will then be able to vote for the selection of the Euro candidates for the Region where you are registered to vote. (Except that in our region (in the UK) does not field candidates.) Ballot papers will be sent out at the beginning of November.
It seems that the Federal Party has failed to recognise a few key things:
- Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.
- The Northern Ireland local party of the Liberal Democrats is not in any region.
- At present the Liberal Democrats do not select candidates for the European Election in Northern Ireland.
So, as at least one member is asking,
What about those of us who live in the UK and aren’t allowed to vote for a Lib Dem candidate !
When is the Federal Party going to wake up to our existence – and truly integrate us into the Party. Understanding us is not difficult. And there are many local Lib Dems who have told me that they want to be able to field candidates in Elections, and furthermore, there are voters who have told me that they would like to be able to vote for the Liberal Democrats. So please, could someone from Lib Dem HQ please get back to us. Simon Hughes told us that he would sort out getting a meeting with the Chief Executive well over a year ago. Still nothing.
I’m getting really fed up now.