Join the Lib Dems by 9th July to have your say on party leader!
By Caroline Hynds
Back in 2015, I joined the Liberal Democrats at a time when they had been trounced in the general election and were choosing their next party leader. I had never joined a political party before, and quite frankly I didn't even realise I cared about there being a liberal voice in UK politics - until it became clear that the Lib Dems' continued existence wasn't a given. Faced with the very real possibility that there would be no Lib Dem candidate to vote for in the next election because the party would no longer exist, I signed up and voted for my preferred leadership candidate.
Fast-forward to 2020, and… um… the Liberal Democrats have been trounced in the general election and are choosing their next party leader. But this time, becoming a new member of the party is not about rescuing it from an existential threat. It's about moving forward to shape society for the better. Both of our currently declared leadership candidates have an excellent vision for the future: Layla Moran is advocating Universal Basic Income and making education into an offer of life-long learning; Ed Davey is focusing on tackling climate change and reforming social care. These are all really important issues that tend to get ignored by the two biggest parties, because they are long-term and difficult and they haven't got big-money lobbyists behind them.
If you find yourself increasingly caring about how we shape the future, there couldn't be a better time to join the Liberal Democrats. Become a member by midnight on Thursday 9th July, and let our leadership contenders know what really matters to you. During the contest, there will be a series of online talks and Q&A sessions which will run both ways: Ed and Layla will set out their visions as party leader, but you'll also get the chance to ask what they would do for you, and let them know which issues are the most important to you and your local community.
Five years on from joining, I'm proud to be in a party that consistently chooses its policies based on the needs of both individuals and society as a whole. I'm excited about what happens next and I hope you'll choose to be part of it.