Liberal Democrats believe in democracy. Indeed ‘Democrats’ is in our title.
We believe in representative democracy, from parish councils to (though we’re still fighting for it) the House of Lords.
We believe those who make the laws of our land should be voted for by the people of our land.
Government of, for and by the people.
We believe this should be extended to those occupying the highest positions in British Government.
If we believe, as we rightly do, that no peer of the realm should be able to be a legislator just because of who they were born to or who they were appointed by…but only because they’ve been elected by the people, then this must surely extend to the Monarch, the person who, ultimately, signs our laws into legislation?
I’m proud to have been appointed Coordinator of Liberal Democrats for a Republic, a new internal pressure group in our Party. We’re working in partnership with Republic-The Campaign for an Elected Head of State.
I’ve set up a Twitter account for our group (@Libs4ARepublic) and sent out an e-mail to those who’ve already expressed an interest in getting involved.
So, why do we need Britain to become a Republic? Here are the top five reasons:
1. The Monarchy is undemocratic.
2. There is a democratic alternative.
3. Inheriting power and privilege is indefensible.
4. The monarchy gives enormous power to the Prime Minister.
5. A republic would be good for tourism.
So, what is the point of our new group? To gather support for the Republican cause in our Party, to lobby for us to have policies which support a democratic alternative to the Monarchy, to lobby Government Ministers, to use our voice to call for a change.
I’m thrilled by how many people have already expressed an interest in supporting the group and getting involved with us. If you’d like to do so, please contact me, either via e-mail [email protected] or through Twitter, via @Libs4ARepublic or @HulbertMathew. I’m aiming to meet up with supporters at federal Conference at Glasgow in September to talk about how we move our campaign forward.
Let’s show we’re fully committed to democracy at every level of our constitution.
* Mathew Hulbert is Chair of Lib Dem Friends of Youth Services and the former elected member Children and Young People's Champion at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council in Leicestershire.