Liberal Democrats get asked one particular question more often I suspect then members of other parties do. It’s why are you a Liberal Democrat and not a .....(replace with any other party).
Why don’t you just join the Tory party? Since the coalition I get asked the question (more than is used to). Well many people of course can’t understand (especially those who are members of other parties) why anyone would be a member of the Lib Dems. Labour members think we have sold out (to the nasty party), although they always believed we were somehow Labour lite anyway. Far from it.
Unions also seem surprised at the Lib Dems position in government, but don’t they realise that we have never been very big with the unions. Nor have they been that involved with the party.
So why don’t you join the Labour party?
You must be joking, did you not see how illiberal they were in government. I also don’t want to join a party that has such a high influence of the unions in their funding which does make a difference to a party. I think David Miliband would understand this very well. Liberal Democrats do not believe in using benefits to keep people poor (Nor does Labour of course but this is what has been happening) We believe that they way out of poverty is to help out the working man, if possible we would have then pay very very little tax indeed. We do believe in socialism but in a practical and helpful way.
There is too much exaggeration on what the coalition is doing, benefits are being changed not removed, The NHS will still be free at the point of use, and to many people have been going to university and now the fees system is more progressive. The governments money is not some magic money from nowhere, It’s our money, If the students don’t pay (once they are earning a decent wage) then working people will be paying for the future education of those that earn more, that’s not fair either, is it?
So why don’t you join the Tories?
Oh come on, we never were just sitting there waiting to have a coalition with (what some see as) the evil Tories. Turns out their not all evil toff after all, they just believe that the free market and letting people earn their potential with less government interference can produce more tax revenues as less poverty (I get it, didn’t Labour sign up to this when they won their first election under Blair?) Of course I do understand this stance and agree with smaller government and less red tape. But Lib Dems also know that not enough people that earn their potential will give back fairly to society. It’s not all about the money you know, we do want to live is a less greedy and fairer society.
I do believe we are holding the right of the Tory party back. But in a way this isn’t just helping out the left wing voter (yeah not getting much thanks there then) but we are also the helping the Tory party (again no thanks required). If they were in power on their own then you may have seem some splits by now. They are lucky that they have us to not only take the flack but to hold of those right wing conservatives back from splitting their play apart. So yes Tories you can thank us when you win an outright majority in the next election, although be careful what you wish for. Just as Labour can thank us for giving them some more time to sort out what they stand for.
Why don’t you join the Greens.?
Lovely though your green policies are (and yes it is the most important issue facing mankind, I’m afraid your to left win for me. While your hearts in the right place. The leftist idealism just isn’t practical unless every country in the world does the same thing, which of course they won’t.
Why don’t you join UKIP after all your not pro European, you’re in the wrong party?
No, No I’m not, Lib Dems are ok with people who do not following everything the party has in its manifesto like a lemming (we are not that tribal). Anyway UKIP its not just about Europe you know, I know you think it is but you guys are not as Liberal as you keep telling me you are. I do after all believe in free movement of people because I’m a Liberal, If UKIP was then you would believe this to. No your way to Conservative for me, to right wing.
It’s simple really, I’m a social liberal, there is really no other party for me, Just because being in government has made us less popular maybe even unpopular doesn’t trouble me. I think we have to do what we believe in as much as we can. Not easy when you’re in a coalition with your natural enemies. Liberal Democrats are much more practical party then other party members may realise. We are ok with compromise because we are used to doing this in a party which is made up of Liberals and SDP members.
All this hate for us as it is for the other parties is a little unfair, as we are trying to do what we believe in just as you are for the good of all. We all just have different ideas on how this is done, perhaps some policies do seem nasty, but you have to look at the bigger picture and not just look at the headlines. Lib Dems cannot carry out what we really want to do because we are the party that comes third, We don’t have the power to make this a Liberal Democrat government. If we did then despite what you believe now, you would see that we would actually be a very fair and practical government. Shame we will probably never know. Oh well we soldier on.