I want to lead this party because I believe that it has never been a more important time to be a Liberal Democrat. The other parties are obsessed with eroding individual civil liberties:
* the Labour Party is hell-bent on forcing people to carry ID cards and increasing the length of detention without trial to 42 days;
* the Conservatives want to introduce random drug tests in schools; and
* the SNP continue to bring forward a whole raft of measures which will take away individuals’ rights, such as its proposals to ban all our young adults aged 18 to 21 from purchasing alcohol in off-licenses.
I believe that in pursuing these agendas, the other parties are at odds with the vast majority of people in Scotland who value their freedoms.
As leader, I will take the Scottish Liberal Democrats forward as a party which stands for a Scotland which safeguards the freedoms of people to go about their daily lives with the minimum of interference from government, while at the same time providing a ‘safety net’ for those people who for one reason or another need assistance. As far as I am concerned ‘government’ should be an enabler for our citizens, and their servant rather than their master.
I feel that this message will resonate with Liberal Democrat members across the country and I look forward to getting this across as I meet as many people as possible over the coming weeks.
* Mike Rumbles is Liberal Democrat MSP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, and Shadow Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment. You can join Mike’s Facebook group here.
Editor’s note: Liberal Democrat Voice will, as with all internal party elections, remain neutral in its editorial line, and seek to ensure balanced coverage. All candidates will be offered a slot to write about why they wish to lead the Scottish Lib Dems. Supporters of the candidates are encouraged to submit their views to Lib Dem Voice either as an article – find out how here – or comments; but the editor will seek to ensure fair representation for all candidates.