Author Archives: Dan Whitehead

The Liberal Democrats are back and the electoral opportunity is huge

I’m not a Lib Dem. I’m Labour and I hope that in voting as I did I will help the Labour Party see sense and do the right thing for the country.

This was Alistair Campbell tweeting about his support for our party on Sunday night, following the European election results.

In some ways history is repeating itself. Through his work in convincing the Blair government to go to war in Iraq, Campbell was also partly responsible for the last great surge of support from Labour to the Liberal Democrats. What we learnt from that episode in our history is that …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 50 Comments

What can we learn from the US election?

 

There are few feelings worse than those that follow losing an election. The crippling sense of disappointment; the frustration of finding out that your vision for the future is not shared by the majority of the electorate. As liberals we have had to become accustomed to this over the past two years, but the Trump victory feels of greater significance to the geopolitical order than anything that has come before it – even Brexit.

It is vital that our anger is channelled into learning from the mistakes that become retrospectively apparent in our defeat. So what can we learn from the US election that can be applied to our campaigns? Here are a few of my initial thoughts:

Movements win elections

The strength of the Clinton campaign’s state-by-state ground game was long acknowledged as a major advantage that the Democrats would hold over the Republicans on election day. Whilst Clinton had millions of volunteers, thousands of field offices and huge financial strength, Trump’s campaign was an operation regularly accused of amateurishness.

Yet no party’s get-out-the-vote strategy can compete with the enthusiasm of a cause. Trump’s supporters were inspired by his anti-establishment appeal and promise to “Make America Great Again”. The Clinton camp, by comparison, struggled to find a consistent message that was memorable and of mass-appeal to the electorate. Instead her stump speeches were filled with technocratic policy ideas and often felt unfocused.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 24 Comments
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  • User Avatarfrankie 14th Oct - 3:33am
    Denis GIven the next bit of my post mentioned massacres and oppression, I think you can safely say as I'm in favour of neither policies...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 14th Oct - 1:01am
    Let's hear it for 'nostalgic crusties'! Roger Lake, it's good to read your thinking about how we should be developing radical plans for the GE...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 13th Oct - 11:42pm
    "We don’t want to get into the old trap of trying to answer endless questions regarding which Party we would support if the outcome is...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 13th Oct - 10:34pm
    @ David Evershed, I disagree. I am a recent convert to the idea of another referendum. I believe that parliament and our elected representatives should...
  • User AvatarDenis Mollison 13th Oct - 9:19pm
    @frankie 12th Oct '19 - 11:13pm "Until recently no Kurds lived in Turkey, only Turks and Mountain Turk lived there." I take it you're being...
  • User AvatarDenis Mollison 13th Oct - 9:03pm
    @Michael Cole - Absolutely, whenever Jo is asked whether she'd work with either Conservative or Labour, she should say she will answer once they've said...