Following Baroness Ros Scott's decision not to seek a second term as Party President, the race is on to become the Liberal Democrats' first new President under the Coalition government - a role that is increasingly significant given the Party's participation in said Coalition. The experience and calibre of candidates standing for election - itself signifies just how crucial this election could be, which is why the Social Liberal Forum is inviting all candidates to answer the following questions regarding their candidacy:
- Are you committed to helping the party develop policies which are as distinctive, radical and progressive as possible as the basis of our next manifesto? If yes, how will you do this?
- What is you view on the question of: a) electoral pacts with other parties b) specifying a preference for future coalition partner at the next election?
- Will you help create and communicate a distinctive Lib Dem position on some Government policies and their implementation (ie the record of the Government) well before the next election? If so how?
- Are you prepared to oppose the adoption of any non-progressive or illiberal policies by the Government? If yes how do you propose to do this?
- a) Are you committed to maintaining the internal democracy transparency and vitality of the Lib Dems as an independent political party? If yes how will you do this? b) Do you feel that there is sufficient consultation with the party or its elected committees before our ministers agree a new major Government policy which is at odds with policy?
- What do you think our priority policies should be for this parliamentary term and why?
- Do you have any “red lines” in terms of a coalition policy which would be unacceptable? If so, which, and what would be the consequence of them being crossed?
- What should the coalition do to ensure the gap between rich and poor is substantially reduced by the time of the next general election?