Vote on the Liberal Voice of 2007

Lib Dem Voice’s poll for Liberal Voice of 2007 opens today. We’re asking you to vote on who your favourite public champion for liberal values in Britain was over the last year. What ‘liberal’ means is up to you to decide in the vote.

There’s a twist to the contest, too. While we are all likely to judge the Liberal Democrats and its parliamentarians are the best champions, we decided to make things different. We’ve picked a shortlist of people outside the Lib Dems, mainly with the intention to spark some debate on which non-party or rival party figures are admirable advocates for liberalism. So, the shortlist for voting is drawn from a wide range of backgrounds; here’s a brief rundown of the contenders:

John Bercow is Conservative MP for Buckingham. He has earned a reputation for rebelling against his party over issues such as gay adoption in 2003, and has continued to break his party’s whip in 2007.

Samuel Brittan is a long-standing economic commentator and columnist for the Financial Times. Variously hailed as an individualist and classical liberal.

Shami Chakrabarti is Director of Liberty. She has been a high-profile critic of ID cards and the extension of detention without trial.

Al Gore is the former Vice-President of the United States who has spent the past few years spurring action on climate change. In 2007 he won the Nobel prize for peace.

Simon Jenkins is a political commentator for the Guardian and Sunday Times. He is a passionate advocate of decentralisation.

Philippe Legrain is the author of 2007’s Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them and an economic commentator.

Bob Marshall-Andrews is the Labour MP for Medway. He has broken his party’s whip over civil liberties and human rights issues throughout 2007.

Craig Murray is a former British ambassador who now crusades for human rights internationally.

The Now Show is Radio 4’s current affairs comedy programme which is popular with almost everyone, except the MS Word paperclip and the now-deceased NTL Broadband.

Lib Dem Voice readers are actively encouraged to campaign for their favoured candidate, insult the shortlisting panel, and otherwise debate in the comments.

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This entry was posted in LDV Awards.


  • Richard Huzzey 6th Jan '08 - 2:20pm

    Terry Pratchett fans – think he is a strong candidate generally, bit not sure if 2007 specifically was his year. Maybe 2008!

  • Peter Bancroft 6th Jan '08 - 2:35pm

    I assume that Lib Dem Voice isn’t suggesting anything by having a Tory MP and a Labour MP up as the year’s defender of liberties, but no Lib Dem MP.

  • 1 – Here’s a quote from Pratchett’s 2007 book “Making Money”, sounds liberal to me:

    ” ‘Even so. it would be dreadful if it fell into wrong hands, Igor. I wonder if I should present the Glooper to the government. What do you think?’
    Igor gave this some thought. In his experience a prime definition of ‘the wrong hands’ was ‘the government’.”

  • Steven Ronald 6th Jan '08 - 5:30pm

    Good to see that i’m not the only one voting for Bercow. That Cameron has been “love-bombing” us is incidental – we should definately be sticking up for brave liberalism wherever it may be.

  • John “Hang Nelson Mandela” Bercow of the Monday Club and FCS a liberal? Have you all gone nuts?

  • James Graham 6th Jan '08 - 6:39pm

    I think it is fair to say that John Bercow has changed his views in recent years. No-one accuses Peter Hitchens of being a communist; isn’t it better to welcome repentant sinners?

    On a completely different note, it’s a shame that LDV insist on using FPTP for their polls; couldn’t we have AV or MBC counts instead? My inclination is to vote for Chakrabarti (on the grounds that I think Liberty have done a lot of good in terms of rallying opposition to the government’s plans to extend detention without trial) but that isn’t to say I don’t think that the others aren’t worthy of credit as well.

  • James Graham 6th Jan '08 - 6:53pm

    MBC involves ranking candidates as well. I have to say I think it is marginal which of the two is better (I think both sides of the debate tend to over-egg it).

  • James Graham 6th Jan '08 - 6:58pm

    The one clear advantage MBC has over STV is that a plugin would be simplicity itself to write.

    I wouldn’t dream of cramping your style by presuming to write it for you though! 😉

  • Hywel Morgan 6th Jan '08 - 8:56pm

    John Bercow may be pro-gay rights but it takes more than that to make you a liberal. Just as it took more than being pro-Europe or pro-prison reform to make Douglas Hurd or Kenneth Clarke a liberal.

  • BTW, what were the final results of the previous poll?

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