Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The up to date "Why I can't vote Lib Dem" list

This is a list I intend to keep up to date, to remind myself as much as anyone else, why it is that I won't be able to vote Lib Dem any time soon. It should be understood that while I would never vote Labour or Tory (or extreme parties like the BNP or UKIP), what the Lib Dems (I use this as a reference to the ministers and core team) have done this last few years has...for me...been a worse betrayal.

We have a coalition right now, and that means compromise of power. What that *should* mean is no extreme or divisive politics. When a party gets a huge majority it is then that they get to act with conviction and put massive legislative change on the books, for better or worse. When parties have to rely on each other the reality should be that the majority of people get what they want, and that policies that fly against the very grain of one of the parties in coalition should simply not happen at all.

I've never really bothered to explain my liberalism, though some have probably rightfully described me as a "Left-Libertarian". Liberty is not only about freedom to do what you like as long as it doesn't harm someone else, it's about freedom to live, freedom to learn and freedom to be socially mobile. This cannot be achieved without wealth redistribution and regulation, it can't be achieved without fundamentally accepting that people are different and can't be forced to adhere to the same model of expectations that the majority of society may believe in.

Political Compass' interpretation of my politics

So it's from this basis that I think the Lib Dems have betrayed the people of the UK. We knew what the Tories were like, people for some reasons still voted them in to general power. Lib Dems had the opportunity to stop transgressions that actively hurt those who are already hurting the most, and they chose not to. In some cases they went fully in to supporting these measures.

This isn't to say that everything has been bad, I'm fully aware of the good things that have happened with the Lib Dems in power, but they are just too few and far between. 'Equal' marriage is great (though arguably something of an inevitability as time went on, this government or next), the stopping of the abandonment of GCSEs a real victory (even if how they've allowed Gove to gut and butcher the rest of the education system is not), and I still stand by the tuition fee reforms being extremely positive for those wanting to go in to higher education (though we have to be honest, they are almost exactly as the Tories and Labour would have done in Lib Dem's absence too). The rise of the personal tax allowance is a real step towards helping people choose work, but only if the ladder isn't pulled from under the feet of the low paid as the Lib Dems have allowed to happen.

Last updated 06th June 2013
  • Agreeing to rise benefits by less than inflation, pushing more people in to poverty
  • Agreeing to penalise families by their home size, regardless of individual need or ability to rehome
  • Failing to block instantly the 'snoopers charter' (and still seem to be supporting it)
  • Agreeing to cap benefits regardless of need or regional variations
  • Agreeing to reduce taxation at the same time as all of these benefit cuts for the middle classes, and the super rich
  • Agreeing to provide government money to prop up middle class home buyers at a time when benefits for renters is being cut
  • Backing secret courts
  • Consistently taking (at best) no stance on Workfare despite the entrenchment of the cycle of poverty it puts the low paid into
  • Backing the government to stand in the way of protecting people from large businesses using "chilling effects" through the use of existing UK libel laws
  • A fifth of the party trying to disenfranchise the incoming new legal right of marriage for same sex couples by trying to allow marriage registrars to refuse to conduct marriages for "religious reasons" (hint: You're not performing religious marriages, you're performing state marriages. Your religion doesn't come in to it)
  • More than half the Parliamentary party voting against amendments to perform a badger vaccination for TB rather than a cull, a cull that will be more costly in the long run to the nation's finances and is scientifically determined to be less likely to solve the problems than vaccination. Only 9 MPs in the Lib Dems voted for common sense, this is what we can trust the Lib Dems with when it comes to respecting objective, researched scientific opinion.

The problem with the Lib Dems is they are people that, in their current incarnation, do not deserve to hold any of the balance of power as they are completely inept and below such an important task. It is no good to look to the other side and say "They were worse" or "They're playing political games", the fact is the Lib Dems had a real chance to show their worth, and they did the opposite. It makes me sad, but I will be looking for a new home for my liberal politics in the UK, I'm not sure I'll find one but I have to make that journey now.