In this edition: party conference season part 1, by-election campaigning and reading recommendations

MVM anf Lib Dems for Electoral Reform and Lib Dem Conference in Bournemouth

Lib Dem Conference – a report from MVM’s Millicent Scott Brooks

“I’m a Lib Dem. Take it as read that I support PR”, Daisy Cooper, the party’s deputy leader said to me at Lib Dem conference. Lib Dem support for PR was evident throughout the conference and consistently endorsed by party grandees.

Ed Davey’s leader’s speech was emphatic. He said:

“Empowering people at the ballot box is the only way to make the big changes we need as a country…the only way to mend our broken politics, restore trust, and offer real hope.”

Christine Jardine MP also reiterated the Lib Dem’s wholehearted support for electoral reform at MVM’s joint fringe event – even though, like her peers in the Labour Party, she refused to be drawn on talk of potential coalition deals. You can read a full write-up of the event here.

Not only did I get to meet many very supportive Lib Dem MPs and party members, but I also met some of our activists. MVM is coordinating meet-ups for activists at all the party conferences this year. If you’re an MVM supporter and would like to be involved, please let us know here.

MVM is delighted to be able to send representatives to all the major party conferences this year thanks to generous support from people donating to our summer crowdfunder. This means we can keep PR a topical issue among party members as well as liaise with key decision-makers in the various parties. 

Prior to Lib Dem Conference, MVM also had a presence at TUC Conference in Liverpool, where we co-sponsored a lively Politics for the Many fringe event with John McDonnell MP and a host of other great speakers. Activities like this could not be possible without the support of our donors. Thank you.

Grassroots

MVM local group street stalls across the country

The next wave of scandal-induced by-elections are upon us, and MVM activists were out in force in Mid-Bedfordshire and Rutherglen and Hamilton West leafleting and engaging with local residents on the difference PR would bring to politics. 

Meanwhile, from Frome to Finchley, Keswick to Kingsbridge… the complete list of locations for September’s local group stalls is too long to go through in full. Hats off to all our fantastic local groups across the country raising awareness of the importance of electoral reform.

Reading list

To mark International Day of Democracy, MVM supporter Michael Bursill penned a piece in Chartist Magazine telling the little-heard story of how Britain had ended up with its particular model of First Past the Post – and the behind the scenes political calculations that drove the decision.

In advance of Lib Dem Conference, MVM’s Chief Executive Klina Jordan co-authored a op-ed in Lib Dem Voice rallying support for democratic reform as we look ahead to the next general election.

The MVM Blog: September saw us publish two exciting guest blogs: one in which researcher Dylan Difford completely dismantles the argument that PR leads to political instability; and earlier in the month from renowned academic AC Grayling on whether Brexit would have panned out differently under PR.

And finally…

A treat for those of you who made this far – check out David Mitchell on LBC making the case for PR.