Due to other commitments, I was unable to attend a book launch that took place in Palermo during the ELDR Congress, that of 'The little Liberal Book: a guide for political party work'. It is exactly what it says on the tin, a nuts and bolts guide to building a political party from the grassroots up.
As someone who has rarely found himself in a successful, dynamic Local Party (Brent North, Dulwich and West Norwood and Bury St Edmunds have hardly been wildly successful in periods when I have been involved), I have found that one hurdle to success is simply not knowing what needs to be done. Or, more accurately, how it might be done. And I'm lucky. I've served at most levels of the Party bureaucracy, I know about candidate stuff, and who does what, where and when. But a guidebook never goes amiss.
The book comes in ten chapters;
- Why we need strong liberal parties
- What liberal parties have in common
- The role of political parties
- Party structures and functions
- Membership administration
- Event organisation
- Participating in elections and campaigning
- How to be in (local) parliament/government - coalition or opposition
and I'll be looking at some of them more closely over the coming weeks/months. And, you'll be intrigued to know, there's a section on how to form a coalition...