It is an exciting time to be a Liberal Democrat. In the past month we have recorded our best ever European election results and gained the most seats ever in local elections. Recent polling shows that we can win huge numbers of seats in a general election. So many people are joining the Liberal Democrats at the moment that we are going through a massive membership surge - in fact our membership has just reached an all time high.
So why should you join the Lib Dems - what’s the point? Here are eight reasons:
1 - You Share Our Values
You were expecting the B-word? Fundamentally, our opposition to Brexit derives from our Liberal values, so they're really important. Take a look at the preamble to our constitution - it sets out the basic tenets that we live by:
"The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity."
Does this strike a chord with you? If so, maybe you should join the the Lib Dems.
2 - You Want To Stop Brexit
The Lib Dems are the largest and strongest unambiguously anti-Brexit party, and Brexit is the single biggest issue facing our country at the moment. Everything else, from our response to climate change to building a fair society, will be affected by Brexit. If you want to stop Brexit, you belong in the Lib Dems.
We are united and unapologetic in our aim to stop Brexit. We do not think that there is any deal that can be negotiated with the EU that is better than what we already have. Our aim is to stop Brexit by putting it back to the people in a referendum.
We have done so much in the past couple of months to show that the country does not want the Brexit deal that Theresa May negotiated, and that there is a real and growing majority of people who want to Remain in the EU.
With your help, we can get a People's Vote and help to ensure that Remain wins.
3 - We Are a Team
Victory is sweeter when it is celebrated with your friends, and defeat is made more tolerable when you have allies to console you. Fortunately, we've had some great success to celebrate over the past year! Just take a look at this cake that Arran baked for our post-EU-elections party.
One of the joys of becoming part of the Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats is meeting a diverse and friendly community who are ready to welcome you into the party when you join.
4 - Help Fight Climate Change
Climate change is already harming people, animals and plants in the UK and beyond. But by investing in renewable energy and stopping the waste of energy and natural resources, we can protect our health and the environment, and boost the economy.
The Liberal Democrats want to expand renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions, cutting dependence on fossil fuel imports and generating more jobs and prosperity. Crucially, we're open to all ideas that are effective, and not ideologically wedded to a narrow vision.
If you are particularly passionate about the environment you can join the Green Lib Dems, a campaigning group within the party that is dedicated to promoting environmental issues.
5 - You Can Run for Office
You need to be a Party Member if you want to run for office as a Liberal Democrat. If you do want to run, we will help you to pick a council ward and, if you work hard, you can win it. You can also run for higher office.
It's ok to admit that you want to run for office, and if you are willing to work for it, there are very few limits on what you can do as a Liberal Democrat. In the recent EU elections we won Grove Green Ward, and were very close to Labour in many others - we're now working on turning this support into councillors.
6 - You'll be Helping us Financially
Winning elections costs money.
Unlike the Tories, we don’t rely on a small number of super-wealthy donors. Unlike Labour, we don’t rely on the trade unions.
It doesn't cost much to join the Liberal Democrats. Membership starts at £1 a month (£12 a year) with the recommended rate at £6 per month (£72 a year) and Students can join us for £1 for the first two years of their membership.
However, everything you give us go directly towards making sure we’re ready to fight and win elections.
7 - You Get to Decide on Liberal Democrat Policy at our Conference
All Liberal Democrats can submit policy motions that get voted on by our members.
Flagship Lib Dem policies that we implemented in coalition including a 5p plastic bag charge, shared parental leave, and legalisation of same-sex marriage all came from policy ideas submitted by members.
And all our members have a vote on our policies. We don’t work like the Tories or Labour, with policy being made behind closed doors... or just ignored altogether. If you join us you can help decide the party's future direction.
8 - We Need You!
This is not a one way street. We’d love to have you as a member! With more members we have a louder voice, more financial resources and more campaigners who can help us win in more places than we ever have before.