by Stephen Tall on September 27, 2012
That’s the question that Michael White asked, and here’s the answer he reports:
A total of 5,000, including media, commercial interests, VIPs and assorted observers, say officials. It’s down on 2010 (6,500) but a recovery from last year’s 4,800. The crucial figure is party members, 2,020 of whom are here, the same as last year. Not all are voting delegates. The last conference vote Wednesday was carried by 199 to 153.
That last figure in particular is telling: 350 Lib Dem members deciding party policy out of a total of 48,000. As I wrote yesterday:
Though we claim to be a one-member-one-vote party, it is conference representatives elected by local parties which vote on policies at conference and elect from their number to key committees, including the policy committee which writes the general election manifesto. We call it representative democracy, but little effort is made to find out if that’s any more than a label, and whether the views of the party membership as a whole are being accurately represented.