The Liberal Democrats have failed those who voted for them
Many people who voted for the Liberal Democrats at this year's general election did so becuase they were impressed with how their leader, Nick Clegg performed in the TV debates. Voters were supportive of some of their policies such as scrapping tution fees. But, since the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition with the Conservatives, they have not had much of a say. Nick Clegg looks like David Cameron's puppet. Policies that they promoted during the election campaign have either been dropped or watered down for the sake of the coalition.
The Liberal Democrats have abandoned many of their policies
During the general election campaign, the Liberal Democrats did well, they conveyed themselves as a different party compared to Labour of the Conservatives. More people chose to vote for them than ever before. However, they won slightly less seats than in the general election on 2005. They won 57 this year compared to 62 seats five years ago.
Many voters were impressed by Nick Clegg. He performed very well in the TV debates. Gordon Brown in comparision did not performed very well. The TV debates offered the Liberal Democrats a golden oppertunity to put forward their policies and inform voters there was another party to vote for. They had never had so much media coverage before.
However, since they entered the coalition with the Conservatives, they no longer have a voice. One of their main election pledges was to introduce the Proportional Representation voting system - this has since been watered down to the A V (Alternate Vote) system which is not much better than the current First Past the Post system. Another policy which they campaigned for during the election campaign was to scrap tution fees - this has been quietly dropped. They were against cutting too quickly in order to get rid of the enormous defecit which this country has - they have now supported what the Conservatives are doing - cutting quickly as posible.
One of the most resepected Liberal Democrat MPs - Vince Cable does not say much. He used to be quite outspoken.
According to Ed Miliband in his article for The Guardian Newspaper, the Liberal Democrats have indeed sold out and that we all should "look again" at Labour.
The problem with a coaltion is that the two parties have to make comprimises. Nick Clegg believes in the coalition and he is happy to make comprimises with the Conservatives.
But, I do think that the Conservatives need to make comprimises of their own - they go on about Trident being important. Is it really that important? We do not have the funds to unpgrade it! Nick Clegg need more of a voice in this coaltion, after all he is Deputy Prime Minister.
Ed Miliband does not offer a credible alternative to the Liberal Democrats - his party has damaged this country. They took us until tow unpopular wars - the Liberal Democrats are against these. Thye pushed the policy of ID cards - again the Liberal Democrats are against these.
To the left of Labour
Many people who vote for the Liberal democrats in the last couple of elections have done so because they believed that the Liberal Democrats are to the left of Labour. Policies such as scrapping university tuition fees and increasing the top band of tax to 50% and with it a commitment to more redistribution of wealth seemed to back this up. Because of this many members, and voters would have much prefered the Lib Dems to go into a coalition with Labour if anyone. Stable government may be needed for the good of the country, but if you believe that what the Conservatives stand for and are doing is bad for the country why would you want a coalition to provide stability?
The coalition is working well.
The coaltion has only been together for a short time - about 100 days. The two parties involved have shown real leadership especially in thier plans for improving the economy. They have put forward radical savings in all policy areas, for example, the scrapping of NHS direct. Not all their cuts are popular such as the decision to scrap any future buildings for schools. This is controversal and disappointing for all affected.
The Liberal Democrats have put aside their other policies for the time being to concentrate on improving the economy. In the Independent newspaper, Nick Clegg states: "I hope when the five years are up people will see that we have taken difficult decisions, some controversial ones, some unpopular ones, but we have done it for the right reasons in order to get the economy right, get growth going again and give people a sense of hope for the future again."
The truth is that these cuts were going to be undertaken by whoever who the election - Labour would have probably done the same. We could not have carried on the way we were.
Hopefully, over the coming years, the Liberal Democrats will put into action some of their policies i.e. a scrapping of tution fees - even reducing them would help out students especially those from pooorer backgrounds and a move towards PR beyond the AV system.
The policies that the coalition have put foward have ment that some people have become disillutioned with the Liberal Democrats. One example is the Liberal Democrat councillor, Ian Jobbing defecting to Labour in Liverpool.
These are unpopular policies. People are going to continue to lose their jobs especially in the public sector over the next few years. Politician themselves do not lose their jobs and still earn more tan most people. There are cuts to the police force, schools and public transport (rumoured job cuts on London Underground).
Mr Jobbing saud: "The promises pledged as part of our election fight are not what are happening, especially in terms of policing and I just found my position as a Lib Dem councillor untenable."
The Liberal Democrats were initially against cutting early as this would lead to further job cuts but they have since supported the cuts introduced the Conservatives. Jobs are being created but not to the scale needed to drastically reduce unemployment.
Better to be in Power.
It is easy to say that the Lib-Dem's have sold out, sure they aren't succeeding at implementing some of their policies. However they are implementing some. This is something which simply would not happen if they were in opposition, indeed if they were in opposition it would be MORE likely that they would fade into obscurity, they would be a minor backbench party of little interest when compared to the real opposition, Labour who have by far more seats, ergo more voice in the commons.
The Lib-Dems are a small party, they do not, comparatively, have enough of a voice to achieve much in parliament alone, they needed support form a major party, or they wouldn't have a voice at all. After the 2010 election even if they had sided with Labour, the Conservatives could have formed a minority Government, or the Lib Dems could have sided with a coalition with LAbour and other small parties, leading a seriously fragile Government, this simply is not an effective option for governing a country.
The LIb Dems made a call to do what was best for Britain, by creating a stable Government, if this cost them some policies, what of it? they haver already made more progress for their manifesto than they have ever done, they are currently an actual force within British politics rather than an annoyance on the backbenchers.
The Lib Dem's have not failed their voters, they are championing the cause which their voters called for, they are implementing their policies and having a chance at governing the country their voters wanted them to, this is not a failure.
What do you think?