Ask the Leader: Liberal Democrats

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Saracen's Fez
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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.

The rules:
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?
See in here!

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.

Why vote?
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.
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04MR17
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You can vote for us (or anyone else for that matter) in the TSR General Election HERE



Spoiler:
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Look forward to taking Questions.:ahee:

More generally I'm MR and I've been part of MHoC for about 2.5 years.
Last edited by 04MR17; 1 year ago
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04MR17
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Nobody wants to ask me stuff. :puppyeyes:
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DrMikeHuntHertz
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Why do you have a communist/terrorist as your avatar?
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04MR17
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(Original post by DrMikeHuntHertz)
Why do you have a communist/terrorist as your avatar?
Because I've had him as an avatar for nearly 4 years, therefore have become known on the site by this avatar; that and he has a nice face.
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Connor27
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Does the member believe that free markets and liberal democracy are compatible?

04MR17
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DrMikeHuntHertz
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Because I've had him as an avatar for nearly 4 years, therefore have become known on the site by this avatar; that and he has a nice face.
Haha, I like how you didn't take issue with what I said about him, maybe I'll have to reconsider my Osama Bin Laden avatar.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Connor27)
Does the member believe that free markets and liberal democracy are compatible?

04MR17
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.
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04MR17
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(Original post by DrMikeHuntHertz)
Haha, I like how you didn't take issue with what I said about him, maybe I'll have to reconsider my Osama Bin Laden avatar.
That'd just cause unnecessary conflict. You're entitled to use whichever avatar you wish (provided it doesn't break the rules ).
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Connor27
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(Original post by 04MR17)
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.
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?
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imperium_viribus
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How are the Liberal Democrats of today in any way whatsoever distinguishable from Blairites within the Labour Party?
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04MR17
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(Original post by imperium_viribus)
How are the Liberal Democrats of today in any way whatsoever distinguishable from Blairites within the Labour Party?
Real life:
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.

On TSR:
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.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Connor27)
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?
The findings are logical. Societies with a welfare state clearly have a governmental structure which places more value on individual citizens and seeks to support them financially. Those societies are less likely to be authoritarian dictatorships, and therefore more likely to be democratic, since democracy is after all a process that puts value, and gives power to, citizens of a society.
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04MR17
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PetrosAC , as the newly elected leader of the TSR Liberal Democrats, may be happy to answer questions with added details, or answer further questions.

I will also be around to answer questions and give thoughts where I can.
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PetrosAC
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(Original post by imperium_viribus)
How are the Liberal Democrats of today in any way whatsoever distinguishable from Blairites within the Labour Party?
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.
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imperium_viribus
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(Original post by PetrosAC)
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.
So you seem to be saying that the Liberal Democrats are more distinguished because of their social liberalism but from my understanding, on issues other than national security and perhaps drugs (though even this issue is seeing rapid change in sentiment), there is already a socially liberal consensus amongst both major big parties. The Tories aren't exactly trying to ban abortion or bring back the death penalty. 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?
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04MR17
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(Original post by imperium_viribus)
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?
I will let Petros answer your first point but it's worth pointing out that the Liberal Democrats as a party goes back well beyond the formation of Labour, never mind it's split. That the Liberal Democrats seek their modern origins from those dates but that the party was "created" long ago

In real life that is, not the TSR equivalent.
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Saunders16
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Could the leader of the Liberal Democrats please elaborate on the party's position on Brexit, following the confusion caused by previously electing a heavily pro-Brexit leader?
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04MR17
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(Original post by Saunders16)
Could the leader of the Liberal Democrats please elaborate on the party's position on Brexit, following the confusion caused by previously electing a heavily pro-Brexit leader?
Not the leader but our policy is people's vote.
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PetrosAC
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(Original post by Saunders16)
Could the leader of the Liberal Democrats please elaborate on the party's position on Brexit, following the confusion caused by previously electing a heavily pro-Brexit leader?
As MR has said, our Policy is to have a People's Vote.
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