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The Liberal Democrat thread

Womble98

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A few questions about Lib Dems have of course been brought up by the election.


Who will be the next leader for starters? No clear cut candidate that I can see, Cable and others lost their seats.

Interestingly, they have grown by 5000 members since Friday, including myself. The appeal for me of the Lib Dems is that ideologically they are not grounded in left or right wing politics, and can take most things issue by issue. I believe in the coming weeks we will see the huge positive influence they had on the Tories.


Any thoughts on them?
 

TheArtfulDodger

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I don't see where they belong really, British politics is essentially centre-right and 'liberal' economically. It has been for generations, Labour are slightly more left than the Tories but hardly 'left-wing' in any real sense. I don't see where the Liberal Democrats fit, maybe in the 80s when Labour were more of a socialist party but not anymore, they come across as sweet talking Tories to me.
 

Red

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Opposing the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre!!!!
In what way do you think we'll see the huge positive influence they had on the Tories?
 

Red

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Opposing the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre!!!!
Why are you so pissed at them Dessie?
 

TheArtfulDodger

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In what way do you think we'll see the huge positive influence they had on the Tories?

This will probably come to be seen, it's like the silencer on the gun. Certainly some of the cuts would have been harsher and more aggressive had the Liberal Democrats not been involved. Doesn't make the coalition a good choice, they could have let them govern as a minority and see them collapse.
 

Womble98

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In what way do you think we'll see the huge positive influence they had on the Tories?

Where to begin..

  1. Snoopers Charter was prevented by the Lib Dems, yet it going to be brought in by Tories.
  2. Kept the Human Rights Act- Cameron wanted to scrap it- was in his manifesto 2010- yet Lib Dem MP's stopped that, but it is going to be scrapped by Tories
  3. Climate Change- Lib Dems stopped the Tories scrapping funding for green energy subsidies but it is now going to be scrapped by tories.
  4. Employment regulations- Lib Dems stopped massive changes to employment law and regulations ( in favour of business owners) which the tories are now bringing back in.
Obviously they were not perfect, some things they got wrong, but they were a minority party in government.
 

BigDaveCUFC

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After that bizarre Election i thought that while it was a disastrous night for the Lib dems it may be the best scenario for them in terms of re-building with what has happened.

They have got rid of Clegg, I personally feel sorry for the guy, he did the right thing for the UK but has fell on his sword in doing so and people frankly just stopped even listening to any Lib Dem arguments for the last 3 years regardless of what sense it had or not. People still have not realised the UK was not 5 years ago in a situation where it could dither about for months without a government or a focus.

But they have to be harsh and hope the next 5 years are a disaster and a mess, if they are then Lib Dems can harp on and on and on for years now about how the only difference is them not controlling the Tories.....so they should be hoping form some right crappy choices coming out of Westminster then latch on them.

at same time they have to hope also that this mass of totally inexperienced SNP MP's end up completely useless or completely radical......both may happen because it'll be any old joe got in at present, that can then lead them to slate scots in their former areas for ditching them on a whim,

They can also of course re-focus and keep well out of the way, but I think for them to re-build they need some radical nut-job disasters........which i think may happen over this next 3-4 years.

Labour is the one i struggle to think how they turn it around, even more so than Lib Dems, I think Lib Dems collapse was moreso a protest anti-vote than a lack of backing (which is labours problem)
 

AmbiguousBon

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The problem for them is their whole party is/was defined by one issue. During the whole coalition whenever someone said 'Lib Dem' or 'Nick Clegg' all anyone thinks of is the tuition fees debacle, losing a huge number of their (large) student vote in the process (mainly to the Greens in my experience), overlooking all the good work they did do.

I agree that they will be appreciated a lot more after these 5 years.
 
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Womble98

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For getting into bed with the Tories.

For charging me 9 grand a year to go to Uni thanks to Mr U Turn.
Labour would have done the same. Yes they broke a promise but we need to stop living in some kind of idealistic bubble. The current system works and is fair. More poorer people than ever are going to uni. Yes, it is frustrating but it is one of those things that needed to be done.
 
C

Captain Scumbag

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The positive thing for them, looking ahead, is that pretty much all of the tofu munchers one associates with the last government have been wiped out. Cable, Alexander, Laws, Moore, Hughes and Featherstone all lost their seats, while Clegg has rightly resigned. So there's a clean break. They can elect a new leader (Farron presumably), and go into future elections with a team of people who aren't tainted by that association with the Tories.

As for winning people back… I'd like to see the LD party reinvent itself as a centrist party that is principally concerned with – get this! – liberty and democracy. Might be a start...
 

Boz

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The problem for the LibDems is those MPs who remain are a rag-bag, none clear leaders who will appeal to the nation at large. It's debatable how history will view them, to my mind the failure to set out clear red lines when they went into coalition on areas like tuition fees will be seen as their downfall.
However, I wouldn't fancy being Cameron with the referendum taking up far too much time for the first years of his majority government.
 

smat

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Where to begin..

  1. Snoopers Charter was prevented by the Lib Dems, yet it going to be brought in by Tories.
  2. Kept the Human Rights Act- Cameron wanted to scrap it- was in his manifesto 2010- yet Lib Dem MP's stopped that, but it is going to be scrapped by Tories
  3. Climate Change- Lib Dems stopped the Tories scrapping funding for green energy subsidies but it is now going to be scrapped by tories.
  4. Employment regulations- Lib Dems stopped massive changes to employment law and regulations ( in favour of business owners) which the tories are now bringing back in.
Obviously they were not perfect, some things they got wrong, but they were a minority party in government.
They also put the skids on constituency boundary reforms which will make it harder for anyone to get in except the Conservatives. But they say the current boundaries unfairly favour Labour, and they still didn't get anywhere near power. Which is a scary thought.
 
C

Captain Scumbag

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^ Yup. If the Tories have any sense, they'll use their majority to push through the then-proposed changes (or similar ones) during this parliament. Also worth mentioning that the LD's didn't block the reforms because they liked the existing boundaries or because they thought the Tories were trying to gerrymander an unfair advantage. It was basically a sulky (though kinda understandable) reaction to them not getting their way with regard to things like Lords reform.
 

mowgli

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We lost our Lib Dem MP in Wells Tessa Munt who had been a brilliant MP over the last 5 years. She lost her seat for 1 reason only - Nick fucking Clegg! :hb:
 

The Paranoid Pineapple

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They need to get back to being a proper social liberal/social democratic party. I found it difficult to understand quite who they thought they were pitching to in the run-up to the General Election and, although I don't think anyone foresaw such a catastrophic result, I found it baffling that they didn't seem to understand how much trouble they were in. They deserved to take something of a kicking in the polls but I am a little bit saddened that they've lost so many good MPs. Personally, I'll miss their presence in the Commons - they usually helped curb the worst instincts of the Conservative and Labour parties. They're now in a very poor position, from which they'll find it difficult to recover, but I think there's still a place for them in the British political landscape.

I'd like to see the LD party reinvent itself as a centrist party that is principally concerned with – get this! – liberty and democracy.

Is this not what they are? They've generally been a lot better at safeguarding civil liberties and advocating democratic/constitutional reform than the other two parties.
 
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Abertawe

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But you didn't vote and you never do, so you've no right to complain.
Nah. His vote counts for the square root of f'all. I didn't vote. Why would any sane person vote? What are you achieving by voting?
 

Red

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Opposing the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre!!!!
I wonder how many people who weren't happy with the Tories and didn't vote said that? If all the stay at homes made an effort to vote the outcome might have been different. Or is 'might have made a difference' not enough?
 

Techno Natch

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Nah. His vote counts for the square root of f'all. I didn't vote. Why would any sane person vote? What are you achieving by voting?

It's not that people don't vote that annoys me.

It's the people that do absolutely nothing as well as not voting but then have silly digs at people who do vote that annoy me.

What are you achieving from not voting? What else are you doing? If the answer to that question is nothing then there is little point in you posting here.
 

Abertawe

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I wonder how many people who weren't happy with the Tories and didn't vote said that? If all the stay at homes made an effort to vote the outcome might have been different. Or is 'might have made a difference' not enough?
It wouldn't be different though, that's the point. The system isn't designed for honourable motives, let's drop the pretence that a vote counts for anything.

It's not that people don't vote that annoys me.

It's the people that do absolutely nothing as well as not voting but then have silly digs at people who do vote that annoy me.

What are you achieving from not voting? What else are you doing? If the answer to that question is nothing then there is little point in you posting here.
What else is there to do? We're subservient ants, no say, no power, absolutely fuck all in the way of influence.
 

TheMinsterman

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I've always been a Liberal Democrat, this time I felt they needed to feel the "wrath" of my disgust by placing my vote behind Labour and the Greens. Now Clegg is gone, I am happy to pledge my support for them again. He was a toxic influence in the end after so much promise, which is a shame. The party will come back, with a lot of the guys involved in the debacles gone it is a fresh break for them thankfully. The question is how long will it take and how much ground will they recover over the next few elections.
 

silkyman

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It'll be very hard for them to recover because they are such a marginal party. They sold their entire future down the river for a sniff of power, and didn't even manage to keep their one key election promise in the process.

Their best chance is for the Tories to live up to the worst predictions and slaughter the poor (possibly literally....) so they can shout 'this is what we were stopping last time'
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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They should just stay dead centre economically and make themselves as the party of civil liberties.
 

Madejski

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They suffered greatly from one throwaway, "we'll never get into government so let's make an audacious claim" comment - tuititon fees - which although as a policy maybe wasn't the best thought out, lost them the trust of a lot of people. Especially the students who have decades of voting ahead of them but will always have an edge of doubt for future LD policies.

I personally knew as soon as the coalition was formed that tuition fees were not going to be reduced/removed. Imagine labour's response had it happened.. "All these posh private school children now get free university education that will be paid for in taxes by the working class".
 

BigDaveCUFC

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The problem is people still do not yet realize just why they had to come into Government.

The country was a complete mess, it had voted for no main government, the country was not at all in any way, shape or form in a position that we could sit around for months and months with minority governments making decisions then it being rejected, then votes of no confidence, more elections etc, etc........................that would have economically ruined this country as price of the pound, share prices the markets etc, etc would have collapsed in the uncertainty.

They did have 2 choices as people always say, but unfortunately the Labour Government back then was completely incompetent, had people in charge no one could trust (and by last Election you could argue still do not trust) and whether they liked the tories or not they at least had ideas of turning the country around, plans of what to do, forward thinking people and people they could work with.

It wasn't just a government power grab that people think, they could easily......easily have gone in with Labour, got the same benefits and had less risks to their party, my own view is it was just down to who they could work with and Labour were a complete and utter directionless mess back then.

but in a coalition the small party gets little say, this was what I kept saying when a Labour/SNP government was expected, I think Scotland thought they'd sweep in and bully people about and then would find they get little bar some negotiations.

Student fees were going up regardless as it was a simple easy money making choice, maybe it should have been gradually rose over previous years.
 

Ebeneezer Goode

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10,000 new members have joined the Lib Dems since polling day.
 

Cheese & Biscuits

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Labour membership is up 20,000 too. I presume these reactions happen quite a lot after elections?
 

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