In the past, when people discuss which party they will vote for in Great Britain they often consider voting Liberal but then dismiss this as a wasted vote. The logic is that they quite like the Liberals but that they wont get in. A similar argument is made that the Liberals are “too nice” and so will not have the ability to get into government.
These people are TALKING BOLLOCKS!
Twenty years ago The United Kingdom had two main parties plus the Liberals and a smattering of others. The two main parties had opposing ideologies and the vote was broadly split between them. However, Tony Blair transformed the Labour Party from a left leaning semi socialist party into a Tory convert. Margaret Thatcher believed in privatisation because she thought that nationalised industries naturally inclined to inefficiency and that the power of the market keeps private enterprise on it’s toes.
Tony Blair believed in privatisation because he had seen that this strategy had worked for Thatcher. Tony Blair understood nothing. He believed fanatically in privatisation the same way that a convert becomes bound up with the rules and not the spirit of their chosen religion. The same way that ex-patriots fein obsession with the minutia of their home county.
The result is that we now have two capitalist parties fighting over the same vote.
Both Labour and the Tories have shown themselves to be corrupt and despicable and Labour have shown themselves to be incompetent.
Of course Liberal MPs have been involved in the expenses scandal and, I believe, do receive financial contributions from non doms. But I believe that in general the Liberals have been more honest and principled than either Labour or the Tories.
The Liberal Democrats were formed from the old Liberal party which in turn was formed from the old Whigs. During the 18th and 19th century the Whigs along with the Tories were the main party of government. The prominent Liberal, Sir William Harcourt said this of the Liberals:
“Liberty does not consist in making others do what you think right. The difference between a free Government and a Government which is not free is principally this—that a Government which is not free interferes with everything it can, and a free Government interferes with nothing except what it must. A despotic Government tries to make everybody do what it wishes, a Liberal Government tries, so far as the safety of society will permit, to allow everybody to do what he wishes. It has been the function of the Liberal Party consistently to maintain the doctrine of individual liberty. It is because they have done so that England is the country where people can do more what they please than in any country in the world.”
The Liberals have stuck to their principles. Their policies are not driven by ideology but by traditional British pragmatism. Though they stand for broadly free market economics it was the Liberals who were responsible for creating the welfare state under Asquith and his Lloyd George.
We should also remember that Vince Cable appears to be the only MP who understands economics and has the best chance of digging the UK out of the current mess.
So now, when we go to vote, will we once again vacillate between the two options which you loathe or, will you do what your heart always told you should do: Vote Liberal Democrat.