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    I'm sure a lot of people on d&d already know me as a libertarian and a member of LPUK.

    However I am actually serious about politics and want to run as a local councillor - but I'm highly unlikely to get into any kind of power unless I'm lib dem, tory or labour - just because people are generally scared to vote differently. In the Norwich North by-election LPUK obtained 36 votes, that's just pathetic. I have also been thinking that although I agree with LPUK policy in theory, I would want it implemented very gradually just to make sure it actually works how I intend it to.

    For those two reasons I have decided to forget LPUK and focus on a mainstream party with libertarian ideals. New labour are very authoritarian: supporting unnecessary wars, planning ID cards, making cannabis class B, 42 days detention without trial etc and they are also still too economically leftie e.g. nationalisation of banks and government bailouts - in the EU they identify themselves with the socialists. So I am definitely not going to support labour.

    The BNP are automatically out for being the polar opposite to a libertarian. The green party have some good social policies, but they're unreliable to be a part of in terms of local councillor elections (I want to actually win) - and they're economically left also. UKIP are self proclaimed libertarians but I oppose them very strongly on immigration and their social policy. Plus once again they are less likely to win local council elections than the big three.

    This leaves us with the conservatives and liberal democrats - and luckily in Bath where I live its between those two parties anyway, therefore I can choose either one based on how much I agree with them rather than based on which would be more likely to get me a position in politics.

    Most libertarians I know, for example on the LPUK forums, have come from the conservative party. Daniel Hannan, Alan Duncan etc are libertarian members of the conservative party also. Thatcher herself was economically a free-market thinker which is something I identify myself as also. However I feel this is a tiny portion of the conservative party, and too many conservative voters and worse still, candidates - are just wealthy and want to be taxed less for that reason, rather than being true libertarians about it. Not only that but the non-libertarians (of which there are many) are anti-liberal in terms of drugs policy, warfare, immigration etc

    I am actually of the opinion that the liberal democrats are the best party for a libertarian to join, and push the liberal agenda in mainstream politics. Bearing in mind, again, that in Bath we have a liberal democrat MP and way more lib dem local councillors than labour ones.

    I just had a look around on the wiki page about lib dems and was suprised at how much it appealed to me, as a liberal rather than a social democrat:

    They oppose 42 days, ID cards, the war on terror, support gay rights and support drug decriminalisation (an essential step towards legalisation.) They also famously support PR instead of FPTP which I think is an essential step towards democracy.

    However all libertarians realise that the liberal democrats are good socially because social democrats tend to be socially liberal as well as the liberals. But I was suprised at how economically liberal they in fact are. In 2006 the party abandoned their policy to tax those earning over £100,000 by 50%, instead keeping it at 40%. I have also heard rumours of them deviating away from their policy on free tuition for everyone, instead favouring the current system of paying a 'top up' amount of the fees.

    I also found this policy of theirs interesting:

    (Original post by wiki)
    Lib Dems are against the closure of 2500 post offices on top of the 4000 closed in the Labour government and 3500 closed in the last Conservative government.[35] Their plan to keep post offices open includes allowing other mail delivery companies to run stores, and selling a 49% stake in Royal Mail to other companies.
    One thing that really put me off the lib dems as a libertarian is that they are the most pro-EU of all mainstream parties, and the classical liberal opposes the centralisation of power. But when I actually looked closely at lib dem policy on the EU they tackle it from quite a libertarian angle:

    (Original post by wiki)
    The Lib Dems have traditionally been the most pro-European party in the UK – they want the UK to play a central role in the European Union. They want a referendum on whether to stay in or leave the EU, but had a three-line-whip to abstain (the first such ever) on the issue of a referendum for the Lisbon Treaty.[47] They propose EU reform, including devolving powers, ensuring policies are focused on only those areas where EU action is necessary, maintaining vetoes in "areas of vital interest", reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, and making EU institutions more transparent and accountable.[48] Their 2005 constitutional policy included reviewing European Parliament elections so that candidate MEPs are chosen by voters, and increasing scrutiny of EU legislation and directives by the Commons and a reformed Lords.[49] At the 2008 conference, Vince Cable announced that the party would campaign for a more decentralised, less bureaucratic EU, and had ditched their support for early entry into the eurozone, saying that "there are various things that we have learnt about euroland, and about the eurozone, which are clearly problems that need to be resolved"
    Finally there is the question of how far up in the conservative and lib dems parties respectively the more libertarian members are. Daniel Hannan is an MEP and Alan Duncan an MP, which are both high up jobs - however David Cameron himself has stated in no uncertain terms that he is not a libertarian, and nor are any tory front benchers as far as I am aware. In contrast look at this summary of the libertarian section of the lib dem party:

    (Original post by wiki)
    The market liberal or libertarian wing shares with social liberals a belief in basic civil and political freedoms (negative freedoms). However, where social liberals argue that the state should provide social and economic rights to its citizens (positive freedoms), market liberals are non-interventionist and are critical of government's ability to increase freedom. This often manifests itself as support for greater economic freedom, causing tension between the two wings. Many MPs from this wing contributed to the Orange Book (2004),[136] a collection of essays intended to spark debate on a greater role for free-market liberalism in policy. Some party donors, journalists and party officials back this wing of the party.[137] Leading market liberals in the party include Vince Cable, David Laws and Nick Clegg.[136]
    The leader of a mainstream party is a market liberal? Surely it's the liberal democrats who I must join?

    Or does anyone strongly feel it ought to be tories/UKIP/greens?
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    Come on guys: all input is welcome!
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    (Original post by CandyFlipper)
    Come on guys: all input is welcome!
    I don't see you as the next Don Foster. :no:
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    (Original post by Ataloss)
    I don't see you as the next Don Foster. :no:
    Could you elaborate on that?
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    See, I LIKE the Lib Dems, apart from their EU policy. I mean, that's it, really. The thing is I don't see any room in the Lib Dems for turning the party against Europe, so I think I'm going to stick with Conservatives.
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    (Original post by Bagration)
    See, I LIKE the Lib Dems, apart from their EU policy. I mean, that's it, really. The thing is I don't see any room in the Lib Dems for turning the party against Europe, so I think I'm going to stick with Conservatives.
    But if you look at their policy on EU reforms, they want to make the EU more libertarian from within. Reform it rather than leave it - and the party could do with more Eurosceptics who are prepared to give the social democrats a reality check from time to time.

    I don't see the single issue of the EU as being more important than the stance on war, on civil liberty, and the fact that the leader of the party himself is apparently more of a liberal than a social democrat.

    (Original post by Onion Terror)
    Conservatives! They will have a wave of popularity come the next election that you could easily ride to get into local government, and there are plenty of libertarians in the party. Plus, if you are mainly interested in local government as your post suggests, the Conservatives don't really have the opportunity to implement 'social policies' as such. When it comes to local government, the party itself and voters know that the Conservatives mean low council tax and spending efficiency. When do you plan on entering local government?
    I only talk about local government because I don't feel I'm skilled or intelligent enough to pull off being an MP. But if I had the choice I would love to be an MP - maybe I should aim higher, but I don't want to be unrealistic.

    If I was going to reside myself to local roles where I can't change much: I might be conservative for the reasons you have said. But the dream would be to be liberal democrat, and be in a position to actually suggest some strongly liberal policy both socially and economically, and have pretty much complete backing from my party on at least the social issues - the conservatives don't have as many socially liberal members as the lib dems do.
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    I anulled my LPUK membership and rejoined the Tories for a year, and I'll see what their membership is like as I work around the party.

    Apart from Duncan Smith there isn't really that many prominent traditional Tories and if the careerists can be woo'd by the young libs in the future we might have a good government on our hands.

    That said I respect a lot of libdem libertarians, such as charlotte gore, and will be keeping track of them and may join if there appears to be no other choice.
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    If i was you, I'd go Lib Dems. They're good at getting council seats up and down the country. Although i hate Lib Dems locally, they are absolutely useless at running the council and dont seem to have any ideas, obviously this may differ in different councils.
    David Cameron is not Libertarian, I think his party's opposition to 42 days and other authoritarian legislation has mostly been opportunistic, despite a few members of the shadow benches being liberal.

    Plus Lib Dem has a much better party democracy, which may make it easier for you to try and influence party policy in the future.

    Could also argue, this may be a bit stretching, but if Labour goes through a period of reform and becomes a real Social Democratic party, it may re-attract some of the SDs in the Lib Dems, leaving them more Liberal. ??
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    I don't understand, being Welsh, how the Lib Dems are in a state of perpetual underachievement in England. In Wales, it's fairly understandable, as we are a four party country (though Lib Dems have a fairly strong hold on where I live). In England though, you'd think they'd win more votes and support - especially seeing the eloquent manner Nick Clegg handled the expenses scandal, and the way Vince Cable has in all essence become the voice of the recession. Meh..
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    (Original post by CandyFlipper)
    Come on guys: all input is welcome!
    Your opening post was quite an interesting analysis of the problem for a Libertarian when deciding upon whom to choose to vote for in British politics.

    If you must defect from LPUK and choose between either the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats, I’d suggest joining the latter. I am very cynical of The Tories’ claim to be committed to civil liberties. It is simply an opportunistic way for them to attack the Labour Party. It is populism.

    On the other hand, the Liberal Democrats appear to have a serious problem in their capacity to gain and further advance their presence in Parliament. It is undermining their status as a serious contender against the two main parties yet the Greens, UKIP, and BNP are ever capitalising on the impetus for change in politics.

    Last but not least, the Liberal Democrats brand as a political party commands far more respect (despite their underachievement) than the Conservative party, which is constantly attacked and demonised as a party for the rich.
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    just not labour. i think i'll cry if they win.
 
 
 
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