SLF Council member Mathew Hulbert told The Guardian about being listened to as a Liberal Democrat activist:
[W]e remain the most democratic political party. Our annual conferences – and, therefore, us, the grassroots members and activists – continue to make party policy and, a good deal of the time, this is is what forms government policy…
…[I]f I’m honest, the gap between ordinary members and the party leadership/ministers appears to be growing. The coalition has forced many members to question who really has ownership of the party and its message. Sometimes, if we’re honest, we can be “listened at” but not “listened to”. Ministers are present at a meeting with members and activists but you wonder if they’re actually taking in what you say.
We can have good access, but little actual influence.
For me, one way to help try and gain this influence is being a member of the Social Liberal Forum, a pressure group within the party.