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'Fair votes for all elections?' Yes right ,like the ludicrous system we have for the European Elections,or those in Scotland and Wales.
This is why this is not going to happen whatever a fantasist of a Lib Dem blogger might imagine.

It's a fun little thought experiment! Unfortunately, it is one that political reality may thrust upon us in the future...

In fairness, I genuinely hope that points 1, 3 and 4 are in our manifesto anyway. Higher education we've already been around the block on a few times, and I would think that the deal-breaker would be tucked away in point 5, which I presume in practice would propose the loss of FPTP for elections to the Commons.

"“Our role as Liberal Democrats is simple and straightforward: to be honest brokers on behalf of the British people, and to do what is right for this nation."
Tim, don't post comments from a Libdem sermon when I am holding a coffee, I spilt it laughing at a statement from the party who puts out the infamous focus leaflets!
Barchart anyone?

If the speech was delivered like that I'm not sure that it would be inherently objectionable...

(1) Localism in the health service- haven't we had that proposed on here already?

(2) It used to be our policy for a while and could be introduced quite happily provided that universities responded by retrenching the numbers of students they recruited. So university education would be free and cost the public purse no more than it does now, just be available to a smaller number. No more degrees in Golf Course Management or Surfing.

(3) Already policy isn't it?

(4) Already policy isn't it?

(5) Does "fair votes" necessarily mean PR for everything? Fair must mean fair and appropriate in the circumstances- lots room for horse-trading on implementation. FTP would be particularly valuable to retain for local elections and given the success of the LibDem political machine in winning at the local level I doubt they'd be saying that there should be PR there.

Perhaps a PR elected Upper House (to be broadly representative of the overall views of the country including minority parties) could sit alongside a FTP Commons. This would keep the Conservatives and Labour both in the medium term as the major parties of government but entrench the LibDem position as the natural coalition partner or key influencer- we get to be in charge but they stop being marginalised despite representing a fifth of the voting public.

When the Lib Dems talk of devolving control of hospitals to local communities they do not mean giving patients a bigger say. They mean more control by local politicians claiming to act in the local interest (i.e. them) as opposed to national politicians (i.e. Labour and the Tories). So more meaningless chnage to no purpose.

When they talk about scrapping tuition fees, they also fail to point out that they do not mean a cut in student numbers. What they really mean is much higher taxes.

A wholly invented speech by a spotty Lib Dem activist is not news. Let's not pretend it is.

Judge the LibDems policy of "fair votes" by their actions on Islington Council.

In May 2006, they lost a third of their seats, leaving the 48 seat council at 24 Libdem, 23 Labour, 1 Green. Boroughwide, Labour actually outpolled the Libdems by about 2,000 votes.

The Libdem response to this fluke win and being the second party in terms of votes cast - vote themselves a monopoly of power on the Executive and Committee Chairmanships. No powersharing, no consunsus, no nothing.

Power at any price, power by any means. That is all the Libdems stand for.

Why are we worrying about what the LibDems may or may not want? I'm starting to think this site is now infested at a high level with LibDem trolls.

LibDems are well to the left of Labour on most issues. Rather than talking about alliances with the LibDems we should seek to highlight their policies of anti-mobility, higher-taxes-on-midle-earners, crazy local-income-tax and rampant disregard for national security. In many shire- and suburban Conservative-winnable seats the LibDems are our natural opposition. Fight them, don't fraternize with them!

this site is now infested at a high level with LibDem trolls

At least they have to compete with the moles from CCHQ/UKIP/CIA etc.

Smug, sanctimonius and typically Lib-Dem.

We shouldn't negotiate for any sort of PR, in any chamber, and in fact should be repealing it from those elections which are already suffering from its infliction. Any movement on that issue makes it look like we're not really opposed to it for good, first principles (which I am) and that "one more heave" could deliver it for Westminster. No. Never. Under any circumstances.

Oh dear, old Ming's getting a bit absent-minded these days - he's completely forgotten to mention the euro, euro-regionalisation and the EU Constitution.

Here are the real LD demands

No VAT on sandals.
Free beard combs on the NHS.
No car engine bigger than a 1.4.
Compulsory political correctness lessons for all Councillors.
TOFU on school meals menu.
Abolition of prisons.
New £2 tax on The Sun newspaper.
National raining for children in talking out of both sides of their mouth.
New political institute for creative bar charts.
New law for causing offence to ginger people.

No VAT on sandals.

You're missing the point, HF - VAT doesn't apply if you knit your own...

Come to think of it, a Brown government might close that loophole, in a similar way to the tax on home-brew bio-diesel!

And of course unlimited and uncontrolled immigration, and anybody who dares to question that must be immediately accused of "playing the race card" by Simon Hughes and reported to the Commission for Racial Equality with a view to getting them banged up. But at the same time Liberal Democrats must be permitted to express their loathing of the white English without being accused of "racism".

No deals with the Lib Dems in any circumstances. Our position should be that in the event of a hung Parliament with a Conservative minority, we will signal to Her Majesty our willingness to form a minority Government. If she is not minded to invite us to do so, our advice would be to call another election.

We should informally tell Labour that we would support the same proposal from them in a reversed postion.


No deals. Set out to win and to lead this country forward positively. Anything else will be rumbled by the public and rightly so,


No deals. Set out to win and to lead this country forward positively. Anything else will be rumbled by the public and rightly so

You're right, Matt, that we have to fight to win now. I'm certainly not ruling out winning outright (it's definitely my favoured option!!) but it's only responsible given the psephological hurdles in our path that someone in a back room somewhere is thinking about this scenario of "what if".

I agree, it shouldn't be a headline thing, but the thought experiments on this thread are interesting at least. For me, I'm working for a Conservative majority regardless, but we wouldn't be a serious alternative government if we weren't capable of having back-up plans. In a sense, it's reassuring if we're looking at means of delivering our agenda in different settings - New Labour seem to have been completely hopeless at catering for contingency in their policy delivery!

And there was a wailing and a gnashing of teeth ...

My own take on this: http://www.liberalreview.com/content/2007/02/hung-parliament-lets-take-the-venezuelan-option

Richard, sorry I see more dangers than positives in planning for this. If we present the right package, former Liberals and new-labourites will get behind us as the positive future.


“Fourthly, we want to see increases in green taxes matched by reductions in income taxes to ensure that polluters pay, but hard work isn’t penalised."

Fine by me. I'll just spend the money you give me from income tax reductions on higher fuel prices.

I supported a Con-Lib coalition in the latest ConHome survey but, after reading the above posts, I've changed my mind. Proves I listen to all arguments...

I supported a Con-Lib coalition in the latest ConHome survey but, after reading the above posts, I've changed my mind. Proves I listen to all arguments...

This is no longer humerous. I have suddenly stopped laughing.

Once it is pointed out it, is obvious that this is the explanation why Cameron and CCHQ have behaved as they have over the last year.

Cameron has looked at the electoral maths and does not believe he can win the next general election. In order to win he has to offer counter-fix policies (and I don't mean immigration and the EU, I mean on hospitals and schools) that are radical and essentially right wing. He doesn't have time to sell them (or think them up) before the next election and radicalism is likely to be monstered by the BBC and the left wing press before the message can get out to the country. Going into the election with right wing policies and losing would mean he could not do a deal with the LibDems after the election and might mean his demise, as it has for the last 3 leaders.

But if he makes nice noises, a bit of mood music, he can make us safe again for the liberal media. Then he can do a deal with the LibDems. He can be PM.

The price will be PR but that's a small price to pay for a deal with Oaten and Clegg and the Orange Book LibDems. He can have the sort of stable centre right coalition of Kohl in Germany or Andreotti in Italy. Years of pleasant, undemanding rule with a broad consensus of men of parts and ability (many of them old Etonians), sensible men avoiding the shrill, unpleasant and frankly declasse abuse of stupid backwoodsmen. A government able and willing to play its full part in Europe, sincerely regretting the little compromises constantly necessary to maintain us as a player at the Big Table.

The real price for many of us on this site is the end of right wing politics in this country and the quiet, final sublimation of this country into Europe.

It is possible that the Conservatives will win the next election outright. I am sure everyone is working very hard on the doorstep to acheive it. But there is, you might think surprisingly, very little panic at being 38% in the polls, after a period of the government committing suicide, shortly ahead of the PM being arrested.

Independence is beginning to look like the only fighter left.

Hardly our choice. Cameron and Co did not give up good careers to fight a good fight and lose. For better or worse, they are not foot soldiers. They will deal if there is a deal to be done.

Why exactly are we supposed to want to work to establish the LibDems in Government in Britain? If I wanted that then surely I'd be one of their activists and not a Tory one.

First let me agree with Solon, no deals with the Lib dems, no deals with any of the other fringe parties either. We must fight the next election to win – full stop, period end of message- got it? David Cameron was elected leader of this party by its membership to win the next election outright not enter into a cosy coalition with the Ming’s Dysentery.
If we are the biggest party but have no overall majority we should either form a minority government or stand back and let the Lib dems climb in between the sheets with the Brown and his cronies as Labour have done in Scotland since 1999.
I have just returned from the Hootsmon 300 debate in Stirling tonight, a two and a quarter hour marathon which failed to ignite the passions of the 250 odd audience, despite the Nats bussing their support in from as far a field as Dundee.
If ever there was a textbook example of the cosy leftwing consensus that is now the middle ground in Scottish politics, it was the Scotsman 3000 tonight.
Had the Scotsman’s able Peter McMahon who chaired the event not introduced each panellist by party one would have found it difficult to tell them apart, such was their competition with one another, to tax more, spend more, legislate more, regulate more etc.
The Lib dem participant Cole – Hamilton turned up half an hour late supposedly having been stuck in traffic. Frankly he would have done himself and his party a favour had he just gone straight home from the office. His party’s position on most issues was better articulated by Labour’s Sylvia Jackson who seemed more comfortable with the Lib dem policy on most things than she was with her own parties policies as she spoke of very few. But to be truthful since her first election Sylvia has always left one with the impression that she wasn’t entirely sure why she was a Labour MSP. One supposes the £58,000 pa salary plus expenses is as good a reason as any, to most Scottish Labour MSP’s
Only rising Scottish Tory star Bob Dalrymple, presented a credible, positive and articulate case for the Union, and a right of centre policy agenda that talked of small government , low tax, lightly regulated economy that offered Scots any hope for the future. A vision for Scotland that was not subsidy addicted, but that focussed on economic growth driven by the private sector and that might cut local government down to size. To the extent that his vision for Scotland was similar maverick Scottish landowner Archie Stirling offered the same sort of commonsense approach as Dalrymple and got applause for his view that the Scottish Parliament was all but devoid of any real political talent.
Indeed it was a pity that the only glove laid on the Scottish Tory was a cheap jibe from the SNP about Ted Brocklebank’s forced resignation as Fisheries spokesman following Goldie and Cameron’s failure to back the previously well ordered case for withdrawal from the CFFP.
So what is my point in the context of this thread.
It is simply this, if you are thinking about a pact with the Libdems Mr Cameron think again, look at the experience, of Scottish Labour who sold its soul to the Lib dems in 1999 and again in 2003 to wave in the STV in local government. Labour now finds regularly that its own MSP’s are more comfortable with the Libdem policy than they are with their own---- Iraq being just one of many. There is a price to be paid for Labour’s love- in with the sandal wearers, and it will be defeat in May in favour the SNP and to see those political whores of Scottish Politics the Libdems climb into a so called rainbow coalition---and watch as Scotland further stagnates and the Union disintegrates.

First off- I'm a LibDem, just so at least if I'm accused of trolling at least I'm actually a LibDem ;)

Oh and no sandals or beards here - hate them both...

I fail to see why the Tories are so against PR - or at least a sensible PR system. The European Elections use a stupid system which I would oppose for any election. Scotland also uses a rather broken system of Holyrood.
In multimember wards at local level STV makes perfect sense. It would probably harm the LibDems in many places, but such is the price of commitment to what's best for the country.
PR would benefit the Tories enabling you to actually get the seats your votes demand rather than Labour getting more seats from less votes, it would also bring a free market into politics, enabling ideas to be debated again.

I disagree with much of the characterisation of the LibDems I've read here. Then again, I'm sure many Tories disagree with the characterisation of the Tories by other parties...

I hope that local power in the NHS will mean power to the patients, but the NHS is a sacred cow for all parties (or at least their leaderships).

As for being to the left of Labour - if you mean liberal then that's true, if you mean collectivist then that's wrong, if you mean statist then that's completely wrong.
Then again, aren't the Tories to the left of Labour these days?

"No VAT on sandals.

You're missing the point, HF - VAT doesn't apply if you knit your own..."

Judging by the pic at the top, the exemption for children's clothes also applies...

I'm not wholly against the idea of a coalition. If the price to pay was PR for ALL council elections then under no circumstances should a coalition be possible. Mind you, i could stretch for PR in metropolitan areas only - birmingham, leeds, newcastle, manchester, liverpool ( for the reason it would benefit us and prob the LDems too)- well, if the Scots can have a horlicks for MSP elections i don't see why we can't do the same for english council elections! PS- i can imagine the headache poor old DC will have trying to find scandal free LibDems to be in a possible coalition!

Lib Dems to the left of Labour? Surely that is where Cameron has positioned the Conservative Party.

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