Why does Britain have no popular Libertarian party?

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skeptical_john
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#1
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#1
Libertarianism does well in the US this despite the US being far more free than the UK already. Rand Paul is the sort of de facto leader of Libertarianism there though I'm personally not a big fan of his.

The sort of polices I'm thinking are:

Greater emphasis on civil liberties (reduce surveillance/ban stop and search/ frees speech)

legalisation of things like cannabis and prostitution, assisted dying etc

Much less state involvement in everyday life such as BBC /NHS (I know this is not going to be popular with everyone but you should be consistent)

No more foreign wars unless it's through UN/NATO

Now, all the major parties will have a couple of these policies but none have them all yet I think it could be quite popular with a small % of the electorate especially as you would pay a lot less tax.
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banterboy
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#2
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#2
the immediate answer, is because there is no popular libertarian party already.
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skeptical_john
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#3
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#3
Some popular US libertarians include:

Bill Maher, Penn Juillete, Michael Shermer, Trey Parker, Jimmy Wales
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username1500433
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#4
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#4
Because there isn't one already, and the nature of the FPTP system means small parties struggle to make any ground politically.
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skeptical_john
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#5
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#5
(Original post by will_jg)
Because there isn't one already, and the nature of the FPTP system means small parties struggle to make any ground politically.
I accept they are never going to win a lot of seats but I dont see why they couldnt be a force in the way UKIP / Green party are or even become a liberal wing of the conservatives.
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gladders
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#6
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#6
A lot of those positions aren't necessarily opposed in the UK but are fairly low down the list of priorities. We're soft libertarians, I guess?

Also, while morally and socially Brits tend to be libertarian, in terms of state-run bodies we are less so because honestly, the record of privatisation, while not entirely bad, has patchy parts. You mention a need to be consistent - why? A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. In some fields, such a dogmatic approach is absolutely harmful. I'd rather keep the NHS and the BBC because they are infinitely superior to what a private service might bring.
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skeptical_john
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#7
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#7
(Original post by gladders)
A lot of those positions aren't necessarily opposed in the UK but are fairly low down the list of priorities. We're soft libertarians, I guess?

Also, while morally and socially Brits tend to be libertarian, in terms of state-run bodies we are less so because honestly, the record of privatisation, while not entirely bad, has patchy parts. You mention a need to be consistent - why? A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. In some fields, such a dogmatic approach is absolutely harmful. I'd rather keep the NHS and the BBC because they are infinitely superior to what a private service might bring.
I love the BEEB and the NHS it has literally saved my mums life more than once. I do think they could be smaller mind.
In the UK public media (BBC & C4) make up nearly all of the top 10 TV & radio channels. You cant really call your self a free country if the state are running the media.
You dont have to spend long looking at NHS spending projections to see this is inevitable.
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Pro Crastination
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#8
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#8
Personally I think Brits don't have the aversion to state power that Americans do. This swings both ways, it means that we're happy to have the state intervene and provide universal healthcare (which up to now has been more cost efficient than the American system, to put aside the NHS' egalitarian underpinnings), for instance, but most people also seem happy to hand over many civil liberties to the state in order to be protected against threats that have been completely overblown by media sensationalism - and of course the state is never going to say no to having more power.

There are libertarians, but many of them happen to be in the Conservative party, which whilst on a mission to shrink the social provisions of the state, arguably a libertarian ideal, doesn't care for cutting back on state surveillance or improving individual freedoms beyond economic ones - so not 100% libertarian.

I think the Tories could cement a stranglehold on votes if they went a little more libertarian, lots of young people are averse to Labour economically but still see the Conservatives as the 'nasty party'. If they can get rid of that image by being a bit more socially liberal, they will win our generation's votes for a long time.
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gladders
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#9
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#9
(Original post by skeptical_john)
I love the BEEB and the NHS it has literally saved my mums life more than once. I do think they could be smaller mind.
In the UK public media (BBC & C4) make up nearly all of the top 10 TV & radio channels. You cant really call your self a free country if the state are running the media.
Sure you can. The state media in this country is very free and embarrasses the government all the time, as well as shining light on non-majoritarian views. The BBC is a paragon of virtue compared to some of the 'free' corporate press in the United States and the UK.

You dont have to spend long looking at NHS spending projections to see this is inevitable.
I would acknowledge that some of the hostility to injecting private enterprise into the health service can be somewhat shrill and inflexible at times, but I am not convinced we need to approach anything like the US model. Something European, perhaps.
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tc92
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#10
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#10
(Original post by skeptical_john)
Libertarianism does well in the US this despite the US being far more free than the UK already.
.
I'd say this is a significant factor in it: it is precisely because the US values freedom more than the UK, that Libertarians can flourish. In the UK, state involvement is not only accepted, but cherished to a strangely obsessive level: just see the hysteria whenever anyone mentions any role for insurance/privatisation in the health system.
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HornDirndlFest
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#11
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#11
UKIP is the closest we've got
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HornDirndlFest
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#12
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#12
(Original post by tc92)
I'd say this is a significant factor in it: it is precisely because the US values freedom more than the UK, that Libertarians can flourish. In the UK, state involvement is not only accepted, but cherished to a strangely obsessive level: just see the hysteria whenever anyone mentions any role for insurance/privatisation in the health system.
The US also doesn't have the BBC propagandising about the NHS. That Stalinist organisation is peculiar to the UK in Europe also. They also have great devolution of powers to the states(which was what the civil war was about)
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newpersonage
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#13
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#13
(Original post by skeptical_john)
Libertarianism does well in the US this despite the US being far more free than the UK already. Rand Paul is the sort of de facto leader of Libertarianism there though I'm personally not a big fan of his.

The sort of polices I'm thinking are:

Greater emphasis on civil liberties (reduce surveillance/ban stop and search/ frees speech)

legalisation of things like cannabis and prostitution, assisted dying etc

Much less state involvement in everyday life such as BBC /NHS (I know this is not going to be popular with everyone but you should be consistent)

No more foreign wars unless it's through UN/NATO

Now, all the major parties will have a couple of these policies but none have them all yet I think it could be quite popular with a small % of the electorate especially as you would pay a lot less tax.
The Liberal Party ticks all of these boxes except the BBC and NHS.

Certainly the Civil Liberties and Legalisation items:
http://www.liberal.org.uk/policies/civlibs.htm

The no wars but through UN:
http://www.liberal.org.uk/policies/internat.htm

That's 3 out of 4, its a shame that the Lib-Dems became a Social Democratic Party.
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minor bun engine
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#14
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#14
(Original post by newpersonage)
The Liberal Party ticks all of these boxes except the BBC and NHS.

Certainly the Civil Liberties and Legalisation items:
http://www.liberal.org.uk/policies/civlibs.htm

The no wars but through UN:
http://www.liberal.org.uk/policies/internat.htm

That's 3 out of 4, its a shame that the Lib-Dems became a Social Democratic Party.
They still advocate a lot of government involvement and taxation, which Libertarians strongly oppose. Strong Libertarians would view the only real role of the government as to protect people from harm, ie. to make and enforce laws preventing violence, theft of property etc. Lib Dems aren't really anywhere near Libtertarian
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Docjones1
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#15
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#15
From what I've heard ukip is fairly libertarian on every stance except immigration.
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RayApparently
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#16
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#16
(Original post by skeptical_john)
I love the BEEB and the NHS it has literally saved my mums life more than once. I do think they could be smaller mind.
In the UK public media (BBC & C4) make up nearly all of the top 10 TV & radio channels. You cant really call your self a free country if the state are running the media.
You dont have to spend long looking at NHS spending projections to see this is inevitable.
I don't see why not. Is Rupert Murdoch's media making us anymore 'free'?
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newpersonage
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#17
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#17
(Original post by minor bun engine)
They still advocate a lot of government involvement and taxation, which Libertarians strongly oppose. Strong Libertarians would view the only real role of the government as to protect people from harm, ie. to make and enforce laws preventing violence, theft of property etc. Lib Dems aren't really anywhere near Libtertarian
I was talking about the Liberals, the party that was left behind after the Lib-Dem merger.
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newpersonage
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#18
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#18
(Original post by skeptical_john)
I love the BEEB and the NHS it has literally saved my mums life more than once. I do think they could be smaller mind.
In the UK public media (BBC & C4) make up nearly all of the top 10 TV & radio channels. You cant really call your self a free country if the state are running the media.
You dont have to spend long looking at NHS spending projections to see this is inevitable.
The BBC are a bunch of postmodern prats, but the NHS is a good idea - you cannot have liberty without health. The two forces that are driving the NHS under at the moment are population growth and old age, in about equal measure.
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Libtardian
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#19
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#19
UKIP is technically libertarian but the message has been diluted so they can get into office, whether that will be in time to avert national suicide, I don't know...
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skeptical_john
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#20
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#20
(Original post by HornDirndlFest)
UKIP is the closest we've got
I'd disagree, maybe they were once upon a time but now they are quite stringent on free speech, clamping down on illegal drugs more money to fund the NHS and are against gay marriage. The closest is maybe the lib dems under Clegg until he got into office and started promising the world to stay in power. If anything George Osborne is more libertarian than UKIP.

(Original post by tc92)
I'd say this is a significant factor in it: it is precisely because the US values freedom more than the UK, that Libertarians can flourish. In the UK, state involvement is not only accepted, but cherished to a strangely obsessive level: just see the hysteria whenever anyone mentions any role for insurance/privatisation in the health system.
I'd agree with this, the UK has (fortunately) not been held to ransom by a fascist regime or endured a civil war. So they dont have the fear of the state as in other countries.

(Original post by RayApparently)
I don't see why not. Is Rupert Murdoch's media making us anymore 'free'?
There would obs have to be restrictions on how much any one person could run.

In regards to the BEEB there is no need to scrap it, certainly keep the news section but would you really say British TV is anywhere close to what the US produces?
With the NHS I personally would not want to see huge changes I just think a consistent libertarian party would have to have a more reformed vision
I kind of knew they would get the more hostile reaction as they are more right wing views. I wonder would you sacrifice half of the NHS/BEEB for the other policies I set out? I certainly would.
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