Party Conference is held twice a year, normally in March and September. Conference is where party policy is made – proposals become official party policy if voted for at Conference.
Conference is a great place to meet fellow Welsh Liberal Democrats from all the country. There are also speeches, consultation sessions, fringe events, and campaign training sessions for members.
If you are coming to conference for the first time, you are entitled to a discount and have access to the 'first timers' reception.
Can I vote at Conference?
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are a democratic party, and any member of the Welsh Liberal Democrats can vote on our debates and policies at Conference. All members can also speak at Conference.
At Conference, you can vote on motions and amendments. You can also vote on emergency motions, and you can approve the reports of the different Party Committees. Details of upcoming motions and amendments for each Conference can be found here.
Information on voting at Federal Conference can be found here.
How does policy get decided?
At Conference, debates are held to decide policy.
For each debate, a motion is put forward in advance. Members can then speak in favour, or against the motion, or on any amendments that have been submitted.
At the end of the debate, a vote is held. All members of the Welsh Liberal Democrats can vote on the motion. If a motion is passed, it then becomes Welsh Lib Dem policy.
Click here for a glossary of terms and rules of Conference debates (known as Standing Orders).
How can I speak in a debate?
All members can speak at Conference.
If you wish to speak you must first submit a speaker's card, available from the Speaker’s Table, from the stewards in the Auditorium or at the Information Desk.
The chair and aide select which speakers they will call, ensuring that the speakers reflect a balanced range of views.
There are three key points to remember to maximise your chances of being called:
Submit your card well in advance. Submitting your card early increases your chance of being called, as debates can fill up and not every person may be called to speak. Fill in your card completely. Fill in the whole card. Some chairs will try to prioritise first-time speakers or candidates, and more information on what you’re going to say and your reasons mean chairs and aides will be more likely to call on you for the debate. Make sure it’s readable. Don't try to cram too many words onto the card, and don’t write illegibly or in green ink. The easier you make it for the chair and aide to read your card, the more likely you will be to be called.
How long does my speech last for?
Normally around 3-5 minutes - the speaking time limits for each debate are published in the Agenda ahead of Conference. The chair will keep you to time.
How can I vote in a debate?
Any member can vote in Welsh Conference debates.
How are motions submitted for debate?
Motions are submitted to the Conference Committee a few weeks before Conference starts. The Committee then decides which motions are going to be debated and publishes them in the Conference Agenda.
Emergency motions and amendments can be submitted up to a few days before Conference.
Can I submit a motion?
Any member can write a motion. You will need to get at least 20 other members or your local party to back your motion if you want to submit it to the Conference Committee.
Certain party organisations, such as the Welsh Young Liberals – our youth and student wing, can also submit motions to Conference.
For more information on writing and submitting motions, click here.