Monday, October 22, 2007

Why I am a Liberal Democrat

In the wake of England's rugby team losing the Rugby world cup final, one commentator compared Britain's battling sportsmen to the Liberal Democrats, forever chasing after that elusive breakthrough, and still endlessly losing. A common refrain from cynical voters is that there is no point in voting Liberal Democrat, because they "can't win", are "at best, an irrelevance" etc. I remind myself why I keep the faith, and the comparison with sport is a good starting-point.

  • According to the theory that you should not support the Lib Dems since they can't win, every football fan in the country should support Manchester United. As things are, however, there are still those who continue to support teams like Derby and Middlesborough, and football is much the better-off for that.

  • Three-party politics is better than two-party politics, because it is more in the interests of parties to emphasise their own advantages, and not to indulge in negative compaigning by emphasising their opponents' weaknesses. This because if you attack an opponent in a multi-party system, all the non-attacked parties benefit, not just you. So it's better to promote your own virtues instead. A glance at US politics will confirm this criticism of two-party politics.

  • Oh, and by the way, the Lib Dems still have the best policies, of course.

As the Lib Dem leadership contest gets under way, the signs are promising that it go much more smoothly than the last one, and the party will be able to get on with the job of making British politics interesting, and encouraging positive campaigning. Oh yes, and winning elections, of course.

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