A couple (here and here) of recent posts discuss why it is worth being part of the LibDems.
To add to this discussion I think I should add my point of view.
It's simple really. The Labour and Conservative parties have failed, failed and failed again. Wherever and whenever they get elected they may accidentally latch onto a good idea, but even then they can't help but mess it up.
Two examples: -
*racks brain to choose most appropriate Labour initiative*
The NHS was a great idea, but it's there to ensure a basic standard of universal primary health, not to provide additional services to selected groups. Prioritising the provision of other social services makes it unmanageable and unaffordable (secondary health is a private matter as far as I'm concerned). Meanwhile the Baby P affair demonstrates how the collective irresponsibility of state bureaucracy enabled different departments to neglect their principle duties to the person or patient and thereby allow individuals to fall through the gaps.
*racks brain to identify any major tory initiative*
Privatisation of national utilities was a necessary way to improve working practices and stimulate growth, but the sales were done too cheaply and in a way which meant service levels quickly became less important than profits. The 2009 train fare rises mirror those in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and look likely to continue until at least 2015. The legislative precedent they created also paved the way for the regulatory collapse which has forced the credit crunch.
To some extent both of these initiatives were Liberal ideas, and they may well have worked better/been less open to distortion had Liberals been responsible for their enactment.
Between them Labour and Conservative may make for progress of a sort, but the damage caused by continual overshoot and correction is lasting and tangible.
A stop-start society is disenchanting, disillusioning and discouraging; it is the cause of endless frustration and friction; it polarises relationships and it causes just as many problems during transition as it eventually solves.
For me, beyond any philosophic reasons, on purely practical grounds the LibDems are the only party vehicle which can deliver the stability, consistency and coherence for a positive future.
So if you believe that your participation can be of benefit in any small way, then we are the only real choice to get involved with. I do and I've seen how we make a massive difference to people's lives by changing a little bit of the world at a time.
And on a personal level I also find I enjoy the company of open-minded people far more - which you have to be to be one!
Y'see I'm a LibDem, and I'm lovin' it!
Disclaimer: Of course if your politics are merely an intellectual exercise non-mainstream parties also provide a necessary forum to help develop and channel your ideas until you feel ready to try putting them into action. Don't let me discourage you, everyone needs all the help we can get.
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