The e-mail below was sent to Sal Brinton in her capacity as Chair of the Federal Board Strategy Working Group. The other members of the group are Sal Brinton, Jane Dodds, Neil Fawcett, Jeremy Hargreaves, Caron Lindsay, Gordon Lishman, Chris Maines and Mark Pack.
We are Liberal Democrat Expand. A grassroots group of party members inspired by the work of Governor Howard Dean. We want to see a ‘650 Seat Strategy’ for the Liberal Democrats, just as Governor Dean built a ‘50 State Strategy’ for the Democrats during his tenure as DNC Chairman. This strategy laid the foundation for the Obama campaign flipping perceived safe states such as Indiana and Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Our vision for the party doesn’t focus on messaging but on building up the capacity for all our local parties, and our ability to reach out to all groups of voters.
Our motto is simple: A Message For Every Voter. No ‘no-go’ Areas. Every local party should be growing and training, and being ambitious both for itself and for the party more widely.
We need to become an accessible campaigning party, and in particular this must entail three things:
- Opening party campaign resources to all – we need to move away from a culture of gate-keeping, and enable access to the templates and resources needed to be a self-starting campaigner in your area.
- Building a campaigners’ network – this has to go beyond a forum on Facebook. We need clear lines of accountability and partnership for local and regional campaigns officers, across the country, developing the efforts of the now defunct Agents and Organisers’ Association
- Accessible training for all – while the party’s online resources are excellent, not everyone can or knows how to access them. We need to expand our training programmes by bringing them to people directly, so we can tap into the talents of members across the country, emulating efforts by other parties such as Organisers’ Academies for the next generation of campaign managers.
We are committed to building the case for a 650 Seat Strategy, drawing on the experiences of local parties up and down the country and looking at how we can make this possible. We look forward to hearing what you have to say about these principles and proposals, and we look forward to re-building our party together with you, and working to ensure we have a Britain that remains open, tolerant and united.
Gareth Shelton, Kevin McNamara and Joshua Dixon
The Liberal Democrat Expand Executive