Ask the Leader: Liberal DemocratsWatch
As part of the TSR general election campaign, we in the TSR Model House of Commons are running four Ask the Leader events to help people decide who to vote for.
In this thread, the interim leader of the TSR Liberal Democrats, 04MR17, will be taking questions.
In this thread each TSR user may ask one question, then once it has been answered may ask one follow-up question. Discussion is allowed to continue in the Lib Dem Q&A thread over in the MHoC subforum if you like, but that falls outside the format of this event.
You may wish to tag the leader when you ask your question, but I imagine they will be keeping an eye on this thread.
What is the MHoC and why are we doing this?
What is the election for?
Since 2005 TSR has hosted a Model House of Commons (MHoC) as part of its politics section. This is basically a role-playing game, which is open to anyone who thinks it might sound fun. Every six months or so there is a general election to elect 50 MPs. There are currently four TSR parties, plus independents, and a government and opposition are formed after each election. Currently the Conservatives are the government and Labour are the official opposition.
Part of the fun of the MHoC is that its election results reflect what TSR users actually think, and the way that we try to get as good a cross-section of people as possible. The election is also a chance for us to make ourselves known to other TSR users, some of whom might be interested in getting more involved as party members or MPs.
Can I be elected an MP or get involved in some other way?
Yes! Rather than electing individual MPs, votes are cast for parties (unless for an individual independent candidate), which then distribute the seats to their members. This means that there is often a chance for people who first come across the MHoC at election time to become MPs fairly soon afterwards. If you are interested in joining a party, the best place to start is in the welcome thread.
In a word yes. A 100% application of free markets I don't see as practical or pragmatic, but I'd like to see them applied wherever possible. I am a firm believer in democracy, despite how awful it can be.
The Blairites within the Labour party have ambitions for Downing Street. The Liberal Democrats, whilst being ambitious/optimistic, are not going to get a commons majority at the next General Election. Their policies are primarily in the interests of the nation, rather than what they believe they can be elected upon, which is perhaps different to Blairite Labour.
The TSR Liberal Democrats have a far more relaxed whipping process than the Labour party had/has had. We believe in our members having the right to vote as they wish and no opinions should be stifled due to it not conforming to the "party line". Our legislation is written by members, and approved by members so that none of us are supporting things we disagree with.
As my follow up question then; what are the member’s thoughts on the findings of political scientist Bruce de Mesquita of New York University, who established a causality between a larger welfare state (and therefore less free markets) and how democratic a country is?
Ultimately, it's about a genuine belief in Liberalism. I think Blairites are defined moreso by their economic policy (centrism) than their social beliefs (which I'd argue aren't liberal ideologically, especially if you take the Terrorism Act as an example) whilst the Liberal Democrats are, or at least should be, defined moreso by their belief in Liberalism as opposed so our centrist-ish economics.
With this in mind, wouldn't you say that the creation of the Liberal Democrats was a historical accident (SDP split from Labour, "Gang of Four") which has somehow persisted to this day?
In real life that is, not the TSR equivalent.