Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Beginning to like the Lib Dems

I am a classic contrarian, so just as every paper has their leader peering down a toilet, I find myself drawn to the Liberal Democrats. This is partly because a friend of a prominent MP has promised to set up a meeting with him, which prompted all sorts of research on my part, and also because of some enduring disquiet with the Labour Party's still vocal left wing. Reading the policy papers left me quite impressed by the detail that their strong local position had left them with.

What else?

- lowering the basic tax
- increasing green taxes
- a liberal attitude to crime, with more community sentences over short "let's teach you how to be a proper criminal" stays in jail
- a quite clear interest in reducing poverty and inequality
- more wholehearted adoption of benefit simplification than Labour can manage
- liberal but managed immigration policy leading to points-based system

If their right wing gets the reins, I might be much more interested - and less self-conscious about wandering into an activist's office than I would if it were Labour. I think there is a better chance that they might actually understand the free market reforms than Labour's heartland does.

Interestingly, the Conservatives seem to hate the Lib Dems even more than Labour.


Jackart said...

We hate the lib dems because PR is an abject disaster and this is their raison d'etre.

Second. They are federasts

Third. They are socialists. Sure they have the odd sensible policy (lowering basic rate for example) in isolation, but as a whole they're loons. They are in favour of an increased tax burden, which I can never support.

Only a fool who doesn't value his vote can like them.

Giles said...

I think like each of the other parties it is not sure what 'they' really are - they have 2 wings, which is unfortunate in such a small party. So do the others of course.

The sensible wing, I think, would:

- cut direct taxes and replace with environmental
- take a liberal-ish view of crime (cut out 2-6 month sentences, get more prison treatment involved)
- hopefully devolve education and hate centralization as much as a good Tory

Of the 20 or so think-tanks I have been trying to wade through http://www.centreforum.org/about/about.html is not the worst.

It may be unfair but Liberals could probably suggest Tory policies and the policies get wider acceptance than if the Tories suggested them.