Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Video: Lib Dem Voice, ConHome and LabourList debate online campaigning

Lib Dem Voice’s Mark Pack, ConservativeHome’s Jonathan Isaby and LabourList’s Derek Draper discussed online campaigning in a Hansard Society event held in Parliament yesterday.

The event was chaired by Dr Laura Miller from the Hansard Society eDemocracy programme.

From the Society's website:
This event discussed the use of online strategies and their increasing importance, encouragement of grass-roots activism and ability to enable mass mobilisation. But there is no guarantee that the cooption of online strategies will guarantee electoral success or promote healthy dialogue between politicians and citizens.

You can watch the video here.

Crossposted from Liberal Democrat Voice, an independent, collaborative website run by Liberal Democrat activists. Helen is a contributing editor at the site.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Video: Vince Cable MP talks to Lib Dem bloggers about... blogging

Vince Cable agreed to be interviewed by a group of Lib Dem bloggers last night at Parliament.

My camcorder and I were there for Lib Dem Voice - and joined by Alix Mortimer, Andy Hinton, Jennie Rigg, Jo Christie-Smith, Mark Valladares, Mary Reid and Millennium Dome, Elephant. Look out for their write-ups too.

I asked Vince for his thoughts on blogging, and why he doesn't have a blog of his own.

Vince cited "time" as the main obstacle, and later in the conversation underlined his commitment to keeping in touch with his constituents. The assembled bloggers pointed out that all these things go well together, so Vince agreed to think about it.

I have a very open mind - I say Lynne [Featherstone] has been a very good advocate for this, and I have agreed with her that this is a deficiency of mine... If somebody could help me get a push off the ground..."







We also pointed out to Vince that he's welcome to contribute to Lib Dem Voice, and so are all the rest of you!

Email your submissions to voice@libdemvoice.org.

Crossposted from Liberal Democrat Voice, an independent, collaborative website run by Liberal Democrat activists. Helen is a contributing editor at the site.

New voting system proposed: Majority Judgement

Do the voting systems of the world’s democracies elect the candidates the electorate really wants? Voting theorists Michel Balinski and Rida Laraki say that often they don’t, and that this raises serious questions about legitimacy to rule.

Voting Power and Procedures is presenting a series of lectures this week at the London School of Economics by Professors Balinski and Laraki, who will introduce their new voting system, Majority Judgement.

From the Voting Power and Procedures press release:



“From political and corporate elections to wine and figure skating competitions (and Strictly Come Dancing), the speakers claim their system succeeds where others fail.

Lecture 1: Majority Judgement vs. the Traditional View at the Wolfson Theatre, LSE, 6:30-8pm, Wednesday 18 March.
Professor Balinski introduces the new voting model.

Lecture 2: Principal Properties of Majority Judgement at the Thai Theatre, LSE,6:00-7:30pm, Thursday 19 March.
Professor Laraki analyses the major features of the new system and why it is best.

Lecture 3: Majority Judgement Compared with Other Voting Systems at the Thai Theatre, LSE, 6:00-7:30pm, Friday 20 March.
Professor Balinski’s comparisons of Majority Judgement lead to his conclusion that it is superior to all other current electoral systems.





For further details on the lectures, see the VPP webpage.

Crossposted from Liberal Democrat Voice, an independent, collaborative website run by Liberal Democrat activists. Helen is a contributing editor at the site.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Why Mark Pack’s awaiting a visit from Special Branch

Home Office Watch highlights the story of a Manchester man who was arrested under suspicion of photographing a sewer cover. He was held for two days, had his DNA taken and stored, and then released without charge.

And now secret footage has been discovered of our very own Mark Pack displaying some very suspicious behaviour indeed.

If you don't see him posting for a while, you'll know why...



Crossposted from Liberal Democrat Voice, an independent, collaborative website run by Liberal Democrat activists. Helen is a contributing editor at the site.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Lynne Featherstone MP challenges unequal pay at Cambridge University

Lynne Featherstone MP, Lib Dem spokeperson for Youth and Equality, has referred Cambridge University to the Equality and Human Rights Commission for investigation:

She explains in her blog:

"It’s because of the appallingly wide gap between what the university pays men and women. The university’s own Equal Pay Report shows that men are paid on average nearly a third more than women - £37,157 compared to £28,247."


The Director of External Affairs at Cambridge University has agreed to meet with Lynne in a few days, so see Lynne's Parliament and Haringey Diary for updates!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Brent Council backs local Green Zones project - you can too

News from Brent, where the Liberal Democrat-led council has increased recycling by around 50% in the past year: a community project started by a Brent resident and backed by the council has been shortlisted for an environmental award.

From Future Friendly:


The Green Zones initiative, Brent, was conceived by local resident Lorraine Skinner as a way to encourage sustainable behaviour face-to-face in the community.

“Devising a questionnaire, she asked her neighbours how green they were, and then set about encouraging them to make small changes to improve their sustainable behaviour, whether it was to use energy-saving lightbulbs or to grow fruit and vegetables at home.

“Supported by the local council, the scheme has now spread across the area as residents volunteer to help turn their street into a Green Zone and bring the residents rewards, such as a 10 per cent discount at local garden centres or free water butts.”



The project is one of only five to be shortlisted and is the only London-based project.

Brent Council website says:


In addition to an increased awareness of environmental issues, streets which have become Green Zones have noticed a rise in community spirit, with neighbours in one street getting together to help a lady insulate her house. This makes the scheme a perfect way to get to know people on your street as well as promoting green behaviours.


Crossposted from Liberal Democrat Voice, an independent, collaborative website run by Liberal Democrat activists. Helen is a contributing editor at the site.