So, despite Federal Conference – supposedly the decision-making body of the party – deciding it wanted nothing to do with it, you’ll now have to get the approval of the police to be able to attend Liberal Democrat Conference. Apparently, it’s all well and good for Conference to decide it wants to be liberal, but when it comes down to it, the alphabet soup of party committees will always be happy to trade liberty for a bit of security theatre.

(See also these posts by Caron Lindsay and Gareth Epps on the issue) (Update: Also see Zoe O’Connell’s post on it)

Still, conference representatives do still have some powers they can exercise without having to have them cleared by the police, and even if we’re not at Conference, we can still vote in the elections for the Federal Executive and Federal Conference Committee, amongst others, and also ensure that there are candidates for those committees who will fight for the liberal position.

I made this pledge earlier on Twitter, and I’ll make it here again – as an elected Conference representative of my local party, I’ll happily nominate any anti-accreditation candidate for these committees. Checking the rules in the party constitution, I see candidates only need two nominators each, so I expect most would be able to find them locally. However, I think it’s important to make this stand – and I’d encourage others to do it – as even if I can’t stand myself for the federal committees (I don’t have the time for it), it shows how many people are willing to stand up for an important principle of the party. That’s especially important, given the absurdity of the election rules that make it almost impossible to campaign for candidates on blogs, Twitter etc when the campaign is actually running. So who else is willing to stand up and be counted?

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