Why I will be voting liberal democratI consider myself a progressive, liberal person. I have socialistic tendencies, with a strong blend of pragmatism. I prefer not to think in absolutes, and am willing to compromise to get a result. Pragmatism is a good philosophy to take, and I think many of the left ARE pragmatic. The reason prison rehabilitation is important is not because the left love criminals, its because we are aware that said criminals will be RELEASED from prison one day, and we'd quite like them to come out reformed rather than just as bad as they entered.
I would always have described myself as a Labour voter, but Labour has failed me more than once. They came into power on a massive electoral mandate, yet were simply not bold enough. They have played to the crowd far too many times, and are in the pocket of industry and media influence. Labour has had some good affects during their time in power- the NHS simply would not exist without them, and there IS peace in Northern Ireland.
But lets look at their failures. They started reforming the house of lords, but failed to show the political will to finish it, leaving it arguably worse than it started. They reneged on their MANIFESTO promise not to introduce top up fees, and did so anyway. They went into a war with demonstrably false premises, supporting the US unnecessarily. Despite introducing the Human Rights Act (clearly a good thing, and I don't trust the conservatives wanting to replace it), they went on to reduce civil liberties more than ever, using 9/11 as an excuse to pass draconian laws just as bad as the Patriot act, and are probably complicit in torture in foreign nations.
They have become accustomed to government, and were so afraid of losing it that they hung onto Gordon Brown even though he is nationally disliked. They continued the economic policies of Thatcher, leading to the crisis that we are living through, and show no evidence that they will change their attitude (sadly, theres no party that will do this that much, but lib dems get the closest).
They passed the Digital Economy Bill, a terrible piece of legislation that was clearly created with the music industry and no-one else in mind. They have helped create an incredibly unequal position between us and America. They are not scrapping trident, a weapon system that will not help us in ANY way shape or form (bear in mind that trident is designed as a retaliatory strike weapon. i.e. if Britain is annihalated by nuclear war, we can annihilate another country. Yay? Iran and North Korea will never possess the capability to do such a thing, and if China wants to hurt us then its going to be the US that protects us).
The liberal democrats have policies that would make things fairer. They would give us back our civil liberties. They would cap donations, and reform politics to proportional representation (although to STV, which I may rant about later. Still, its better than FPTP), they would even phase out tuition fees. They are willing to issue policies that make SENSE. Policies based on evidence rather than headline grabbing, on sensible, liberal ideas. I'm not happy with their whole manifesto. I think they pander too much on immigration, and I think they could go further on their drugs policies, but for a party that actually promises real change, a government with some sense for once, I would love to see the liberal democrats in charge.