LibLink: Mark Pack – Lib Dems Must Not Ditch Commitment To Political Reform

Over at The Holmes Report website, Lib Dem Voice’s Mark Pack has a piece setting out how the Liberal Democrats should approach the issue of political reform in the wake of the substantial defeat for reformers in the AV referendum. Here’s an extract from Mark’s piece:

It would be a mistake for Liberal Democrats (or indeed reformers in the Conservative Party’s ranks) to conclude from the referendum result that all political reform should now be side-lined. The referendum No vote was not a vote of confidence in our political system. Politicians continue to be one of the least respected professions in Britain.

But particularly for the Liberal Democrats, it would be a mistake to think that the route back to the party’s early 2010 levels of popularity lies in abandoning a long-held party demand. Constitutional reform is not top of the public’s list of priorities – which is why Lib Dem prominence on issues such as the NHS is important – but it’s no secret that it has long been top of the Liberal Democrats’ list of priorities. Giving up on it would not only be controversial with activists, it would trigger a round of media headlines about u-turns, splits, leadership weakness and going back on previous policies.

Nick Clegg told Radio 4 in August last year, “I wouldn’t have stood for the leadership of the Lib Dems if I thought the only sole purpose in life was to change the electoral system”. The repeated enthusiasm with which he made the point at the time – before the AV vote – caused some controversy but the essence of it still applies. Political reform was not the only priority on the front page of the 2010 general election manifesto – but it was there, asone of the set of four.

One of the perks of being in government is that it gives enough media profile to be able to talk about more than one issue – not many more, but more than one.

You can read the whole article here.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in LibLink.
Advert

One Comment

  • It’s the Conservatives and Labour who should be accused of “u-turns, splits, leadership weakness and going back on previous policies” if Lords reform doesn’t happen. As Nick likes to say, this was in all 3 manifestos. It can, however, thankfully stay out of the limelight for the next year during this committee stage.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • Marco
    .. a broader problem however is that demographic changes meant the South West would have become harder to hold onto anyway as people have moved there and import...
  • Marco
    In hindsight Vince was a better leader than I realised at the time. Despite slightly cringey statements like "B******s to Brexit" and "exotic spresm" he got to ...
  • expats
    Paul Fox 6th Dec '22 - 10:58am....If, as seems likely, there is a hung parliament after the next General Election, we need to be clear what it is that we will b...
  • John Laband
    If you are a voter who voted remain in the referendum and believe in a united EU etc. Who do you vote for?...
  • Chris Moore
    Hello, James and Adrian Sanderson, if you are reading this. It's not only in the West Country we need Euro-sceptic voters. In all Remain seats, there are lar...