And a message to Lib Dem supporters

Lib Dem Voice got slashdotted by Graham Linehan earlier today, so many won’t have seen this:

On Saturday afternoon the party’s Federal Executive is meeting to discuss how the party should handle the Parliamentary situation. There’s no pre-set, universally supported answer to this so the FE’s discussion is going to be meaningful and important. It’s only one part of the party’s consultative process, which also includes – for example – a meeting of the Parliamentary Party. But it does mean that now is an excellent time to let the FE know your views.

Because many members of the Federal Executive are scattered around the country – sleeping, travelling back from election counts, making their way to London and so on – the FE members may be hard to get hold of and many will not necessarily be checking their emails frequently.

Therefore, in order to ensure that people have a chance to send in a view that will be read before the meeting, we’ve agreed with the Party President Ros Scott a special email address – balancedparliament@libdemvoice.org – balancedparliament.hat.libdemvoice.org.spam.com (this is spam bot hidden email address, replace .hat. with @ and remove .spam.com for the real one) – which can be used to email in your views. A member of staff will collate all the messages and make sure that they are drawn to the attention of Ros and also reported to the members of the FE in time for their discussion.

A few tips when emailing this address:

Don’t use it for an email to which you need a personal, direct reply as, given the short timescales, that isn’t going to be possible for every message sent to the address
Given the pressures of time, short and concise messages are likely to be more effective than 12 pages essays
As with letter writing or lobbying more generally, saying in full who you are and where you’re from is likely to add to the impact of the message
Please send your message as soon as possible

That’s from a post by Mark Pack at LDV.

The message appears mostly aimed at party members, but it doesn’t say *ONLY* them. LET THE PARTY KNOW YOUR VIEWS. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

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23 Responses to And a message to Lib Dem supporters

  1. Disgruntled says:

    Are you Tories in disguise? Not any more, you are out in the open you set of twats!

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      If I was a Tory, I’d vote Tory and be in the Tory party. Just like if I was a Labour supporter I’d vote Labour and be in the Labour party. The fact that you are too thick to understand that just because someone hates the Tories doesn’t mean they want a Labour government *EITHER* says more about you than about anyone else.

  2. Jenny J says:

    I regret voting libdem. Nick Clegg you’re about to betray me. Now you’re getting into bed with the man who opposed everything you apparently stood for.

    How long do you suppose it will be before Cameron calls another election. He wont need you then!

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Clegg isn’t ‘getting into bed with’ anyone. He needs the party’s approval for any deal, and they’re not going to approve any deal that doesn’t match the four priorities we outlined well before the start of the coalition. We are not the Labour party and if you wanted a Labour government you should have voted for one.

  3. Oliver Townshend says:

    I just wanted to say I’ve enjoyed your blog during this election, if only because its the first thing I’ve ever read anything seroius about the Liberal Democrats (I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone who identified themselves as a supported), most of my friends here in Oz are Labor, with a few Tories.

  4. TAD says:

    I suspect Nick Clegg will be much more pragmatic about joining either the Tories or Labour in a coalition government, than Andrew Hickey would be. :P

    You can’t expect your senior partner in a coalition to just give in on every one of your key positions. That’s just not going to happen. More likely the Lib Dems will get a couple of cabinet posts, and a gentleman’s agreement to work with them on a couple of key issues. That’s about the best that the Liberal Democrats can expect.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      But it’s not Nick Clegg’s choice. To form a coalition, a Lib Dem leader has to get agreement of 75% of MPs *AND* 75% of the party Federal Executive. If he can’t, he has to get agreement of a special convention, and if *they* don’t agree by 75% or more, then there’s a ballot of the entire membership…

      • TAD says:

        Fair enough (concerning the voting procedures). I’m not very famliar with how such things work in the British party system.

        But I think you would have to concede that the Lib Dems can’t just dig in and refuse to budge on any of their policies, either. It’s not like they have a huge voter mandate behind them….the Lib Dems came in 3rd, after all. If you can get *one* key issue of yours passed in the next government, you’ve done well, given your current position.

        • Andrew Hickey says:

          It’s not how it works in the UK generally, just in our party, because we’re democratic – it’s in the name ;)

          And the Lib Dems aren’t going to ‘refuse to budge on any of their policies’ – before the election we said exactly what was and wasn’t open for negotiation. We’ll work with anyone who will offer a fairer voting system, a pupil premium for children in disadvantaged areas, changing the tax system and moving the economy away from financial services and towards a more environmentally-friendly system. That’s what we said beforehand, that’s what the 23% of the population who voted for us were voting for, and we don’t budge for less.

          • TAD says:

            I listen to Republicans every day, who insist they’ll never budge on any of their positions, and they never do, and it leads to a complete poisoning of the system, in my opinion. You can’t work with Republicans on *anything* these days. If a Democrat sponsors a bill saying, “Grandma’s apple pie is tasty,” every Republican will oppose it and insist on an opposite bill that states, “Grandma’s apple pie is destroying everything we hold dear in this country.” It’s gotten that bad here.

            • Andrew Hickey says:

              We’ve said we’re sticking with those four fundamental things, but *everything* else is up for grabs. I think that’s more than fair – assuming a four year parliament, that’s one thing per year…

              • TAD says:

                I’m semi-surprised that Nick Clegg has been reaching out to the Tories, actually. He’s come across as very statesman-like in the post-election days, I think. He’s positioning himself well for the future, as someone who looks Prime Ministerial (if that’s actually a word). That can only help him with middle-of-the-road voters in the future.

                • Andrew Hickey says:

                  The Lib Dems are more interested in democracy than *ANYTHING* else, and so he promised he’d speak first to whichever party got most votes and most seats. Anything else would be a betrayal of Lib Dem principles.

                  Also, rumour has it Clegg prefers the Tories to Labour, though the party as a whole leans the other way.

                  • TAD says:

                    Yeah, I can’t imagine a politician betraying his principles for political expediency. I’ve never seen *that* happen before. :P

                    Clegg probably feels a kinship with Tories (to some extent), since they do represent change from Labour.

    • Gavin Burrows says:

      I think you may have missed the bit about the Tories failing to get a majority! Cameron needs Clegg as much as vice versa.

      Moreover as first-past-the-post is inherently biased in favour of the Big Two, this may well be Clegg’s one shot to get PR in before the opportunities close up on him again.

      If he doesn’t get what he wants (on one key position, not every one) he can walk away. Which is exactly what Jeremy Thorpe did last time this happened, in ’74…

      • TAD says:

        Oh, I agree. I think the Lib Dems should look for support on 1 key position. That would be a realistic goal. The Tories will probably initially offer a couple cabinet posts, but you should fight for a bit more than that…..insist on their cooperation on at least 1 key issue.

        • Andrew Hickey says:

          Just so you know, Gavin isn’t a Lib Dem – he’s a revolutionary anarcho-communist or something. Against electoral politics on principle, anyway.

          • TAD says:

            I’m flirting with the idea of becoming an anarchist myself, actually. Although I have a problem with anarchists who oppose traffic lights as an unnecessary governmental intrustion. I don’t go *that* far. :P

            • Gavin Burrows says:

              Anarchists are saying that in the States? Over here it’s Jeremy Clarkson!

              There’s an old anarchist saying “whoever you vote for the government get in.” Pleased to say that this time it didn’t work out that way!

              • Gavin Burrows says:

                Incidentally, to answer a question no-one really asked, I don’t decry electoralism “on principle” so much as on pragmatism. I don’t believe parliament is really where power lies in a capitalist system. To use another (!!!) old saying, politics is the shadow cast by big business over society.

                Yeah I know – no-one asked!!!

  5. pillock says:

    TAD underestimates what a coalition partner can reasonably expect to get accomplished, I think. It isn’t “if you give us this we’ll think we’ve done well”, it’s “what can you offer us that we couldn’t get by letting the other guy govern, and then threatening to support you when you vote against them on a confidence motion if they don’t give us our one concession? Considering that if they say no we can negotiate with you then about whether you’d like to fight another election, or just form a coalition with us…and then take the same hard line with you…or you could fill out our four-point laundry list right now and save everyone the trouble, it’s really up to you…”

    I may just be assuming incorrect things about how the UK system works, from how the Canadian system works, but Harper had to prorogue Parliament in order to avoid a coalition gov’t simply replacing him, last year or so (he should’ve been served nothing but perogies in restaurants, no matter what he ordered, from then on: “your perogies, Mr. Prime Minister.” “But I ordered filet mignon!” “Your PEROGIES, Mr. Prime Minister”), and literally the only thing that saved him when the House sat again was that the Liberals (who, it may amuse you to know Andrew, consider themselves the “natural governing party” here — fact! You see those mirrors keep on reflecting) turned out to be just as venal as the Conservatives are evil…more interested in their internal power-jockeying than in representing their constituents. And make no mistake, that evil political 69 the two Big Parties are engaged in is alienating voters…

    But maybe, just maybe, there is a political possibility open to your Tories, that isn’t available to our Liberals. Or our Tories. Because conceivably they could make PR track as a radical “common sense” ideology, even if for their own power-politics reasons they would obviously be tremendously resistant to it…but if I can go a bit Sir Humphrey here for a minute, maybe all that’s necessary to make it possible is to convince the politicians it’s in their short-term interest instead of their long-term interest, to support it? Ha ha; and yet IDS might’ve done it — “everyone knows the Tories are the natural coalition-leading party”…

    Well, now I’ve gone straight out of Yes, Minister, and right into The Coca-Cola Kid. Nevertheless, if Ralph Nader’s choosing, you still can’t get him with a bribe…that’s what makes him Ralph Nader, for God’s sake! So if the LibDems do a coalition, one sure thing is that unless they’re bloody stupid they won’t be budging on stuff. They can budge just as well as a minority party in a majority small-o opposition, the effect is the same.

    The problem with the States is that people call Nader an asshole when he’s personally saved like several million American lives actually by being one. I’d fucking vote for him: he’s saved millions of Canadian lives too.

    How dare he!

    But the American system has a President, and the President has LOTS of power, and this is probably why third parties can’t be supported. It would give the President WAY more power if they were.

    Okay. Drinking a bit. But still hopefully cogent!

  6. pillock says:

    Nope, not cogent — fanned on that whole “hung parliament” thing…

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