Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lib Dems favour Proportional Voting, don't they?

As astonishing story in The Times this Saturday reveals a large number of outspoken Lib Dem MPs have not exercised their right to pledge a second preference vote for Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Lib Dems are selecting a replacement to Charles Kennedy, who resigned as Leader in January.

All 75,000 members of the party vote one for their first preferred candidate, two for second and three for third… we call it proportional voting and it’s a rather sacred belief amongst Lib Dems that this form of second transferable voting is a better option to 'first-past-the-post'. The candidate in last place is eliminated and his backers’ second choices are distributed between the remaining two – it results in the most favoured candidate winning the election as determined by the party membership faithful.

The Times writes: For a party whose forebears embraced the cause of proportional representation for the best part of a century, and to whose members the single transferable vote has the status of the Holy Grail, their behaviour is at best inconsistent.

  • Lord Kirkwood, chairman of Sir Menzies’ campaign, admitted: “I only used one preference myself. It is only of interest to anybody if Campbell comes third and I know he will not come third.”
  • Lynne Featherstone, an MP backing Mr Huhne, confessed: “I have not used my second preference on this occasion.”
  • Vince Cable, the Treasury spokesman, said: “I filled it in the day after it came. I honestly can’t remember whether I just went for Ming and not the other two, or voted for Chris [Huhne] second.
  • Jo Swinson, 26, the youngest MP and a Campbell supporter, said hesitantly: “I cannot actually say… I’m fairly sure I voted for Chris Huhne as No 2.”

I have used my votes with Hughes – 1st and Huhne - 2nd. Unlike these honourable members of parliament who seem to support first past the post, I am confident most party members have determined who that wining candidate will be through second preference choices.

But then again the honourable members of the party would not have stabbed Charles Kennedy in the back – and this Leadership election would probably not be taking place at this time.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A most famous victory for Lib Dems

Sometimes even the media can celebrate with us, rather than laugh at the Liberal Democrats.

The party leadership election has given rise to ridicule for the third party of UK politics, but thank goodness for by-elections. In a sensational result the Lib Dems have turned round a safe Labour seat into a most famous victory for Liberal Democrats.

Even the politically neutral wrote on their website on Thursday 9th Feb that Nu Labor would hold the seat:

Labour is defending a majority at the general election of 11,562, when turnout was 59.9 per cent. With Labour expected to hold on to the seat, attention is set to focus on whether recent troubles for the Lib Dems cause them to fall behind the SNP in the battle for second place.

A story with more detail of the result is on the
Swindon local party website.

So how could Labour loose this safe seat? Maybe it is because our hospitals are dirtier and less efficient and some waiting lists are longer. Our schools are turning out an ever-thicker brand of child at the age of 16 or 18 because education reform is a cock-up failing our youth. Our police are obsessed with being nice to groups that cause public danger rather than prosecuting them. Our public transport system is expensive and inadequate. Our welfare state rewards the feckless while penalising what the Victorians called "the deserving poor". Our Armed Forces are sent abroad to die for their country on the basis of a lie.

It could be the Blair factor has passed his sell-by date, but seeing as the PM in waiting (Gordon Brown) has his home in the Dunfermline and West Fife area and represents the neighbouring constituency… maybe the result had something to do with the “Brown-effect”? For me the principal reason of Lib Dem success is that we are a party of vision and passion with the most credible of policies to make Britan great again.

And when the Liberal Democrat party can communicate it’s possitive message to a listening public, despite all the scandals which have plagued us for a month – success comes our way because people don’t care about individuals – they care about freedom of opportunity to succeed and see their fellow countrymen succeed without interferience from the state.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hey, I made it onto the Daily Telegraph blog site of Ian Douglas, production editor of with a comment about printed newspapers increasingly becoming 'yesterdays news'.

The advent of increasing availability on-line is for many, the end of the purchasing a daily paper.

I like the internet, but there is still something comforting about reading a "broadsheet" newspaper, getting ink all over your hands and hearing the crumple of paper as overly large sheets are folded into manageable sections.

Long live the printed word!

Death to the West?

I do not like that feeling when I find myself agreeing with Tory MPs. Guilt shivers down my spine, like the winter chill factor ever present at this time of year.

The Conservative Shadow Home Secretary said

  • "Clearly some of these placards are incitement to violence and, indeed, incitement to murder - an extremely serious offence which the police must deal with and deal with quickly. Whatever your views on these cartoons, we have a tradition of freedom of speech in this country which has to be protected. Certainly there can be no tolerance of incitement to murder."

Maybe I am not fully subscribed to Liberal thinking on this issue, but why is it the political party that exists to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society and values liberty, equality and community is not speaking out against the enslaved spoken antics of an ignorant minority?

Radical Muslims who are sporting placards in our principal cities screaming: "Massacre those who insult Islam", "Europe you will pay" and "Europe you'll come crawling when Mujahideen come roaring" no further represent mainstream Muslim opinion than the Unionist radical Rev. Ian Paisley MP represents mainstream opinion on Christianity.

The rumpus and furore started last week when a
fanatical wing of Muslim followers reacted to cartoons published in a Danish newspaper in September of 2005 which was subsequently re-printed by a number of other European media outlets. The most offensive cartoon appears to be of an image Mohamed with a fuse-lit bomb as a turban - an indication that killing your enemy is acceptable for followers of that faith.

Muslims believe in one God, is it the same God who is worshipped by Jews and Christians? If it is, then that fact invites co-operation between followers of the three monotheistic religions.

As a Liberal, I prefer to focus on where we agree, rather than dwell on where we disagree. Maybe Reflecting Britain campaign is a step towards that goal, although I think Lib Dems aiming to win the voting support of Muslims in the UK is more important than getting a Lib Dem Muslim elected to Parliament.

Muslim theology claims that God has sent prophets to every people, and that Mohammed was the last of them. After him, according to orthodox Muslim doctrine, the believers are to expect not another prophet, but the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Jews believe that the Messiah will come and set the captives free. Meanwhile Christians believe that the messiah has already come in the form of Jesus - He set us free through his death on the cross and resurrection and promised to come back "the Second Coming of Jesus Christ".

All three of these religious beliefs subscribe to the ultimate conclusion. I guess I just wish He would hurry up and come back before more blood is shed in His name!