Local LibDem bloggers Mark Reckons and Dazmando have come out strongly against indication from LibDem grandee Ming Campbell that the party may be in the process of dropping a pledge to have a referendum on membership of Europe.
The policy was designed to counter claims that we weren't allowing the country to sleepwalk into a superstate by asking the fundamental question which lay behind criticisms of the Lisbon Treaty and the plans for a 'constitution' supposedly embedded in it.
Now the generally pro-European and internationalist aspect of LibDem attitudes is one of the major areas which has attracted to the party, so obviously how we handle the issue is a serious concern for me, but at the same time since the ratification process is all but complete and even the Conservatives have dropped their pledge to hold a referendum it had become almost an empty gesture.
Integrate Or Die!
LibDems are and remain committed to organising a universal framework of common understanding and would campaign for a 'Yes' vote in any event, so when David Cameron took his decision the mainstream political pressure was lifted and it became only a matter of time before the pledge began to look like an empty electioneering gesture. The fact that it is the Conservatives and not the LibDems competing for votes from recalcitrant anti-EU opinion made it even more likely.
However, as the third party the LibDems exist to make gestures because this provides an indication of the balance of public opinion and this helps swing decisions.
So while the decision is understandable, so too is the frustration at what looks like on face value to be a denial of the party raison d'etre.
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