Since the election campaign started have ruminated over the various polices of the political parties in the UK. A brief personal political history. Years ago (back in the 1980s and early 90s) supported the Conservatives. When Labour first came to power this time round, felt somewhat optimistic. In 2005 voted Liberal Democrat and will do so tomorrow. So why the change? I feel it has much to do with counselling – not that counselling turns anyone toward being a Liberal Democrat. Yet, as I have seen clients through the youth agency where I volunteer I have seen another side of life and society that I was shielded from before. Whereas prior to this my political thoughts were more toward what would benefit myself and family, now having seen another side my thoughts are turned more outward to seeing the needs of the wider society. I was going to say the whole of society,but that would be too grand a claim. I see the Lib Dems wanting a fairer society, where needs are met across the board more than they are presently. I read the following, from Nick Clegg, and it excites me:
“This is my personal guarantee that I will use all the support you give me on Thursday to deliver fairness in Britain.
“We need a fairer tax system. I will use your votes to cut taxes for those at the bottom and in the middle and close the loopholes for those at the top.
“We need to support our children. I will use your votes to ensure extra funding for schools, to cut class sizes and give all children a fair chance.
“We need to clean up politics. I will use your votes to reform Parliament, to deliver a fairer voting system, protect your freedoms and give you the right to sack corrupt MPs.
“We need a new economy. I will use your vote to split up the banks, get them lending again, invest in green infrastructure and so create jobs.
“This election campaign has shown us that millions of people want us to do something different this time.
“Politicians should work together to solve the nation’s biggest problems.
“That is why, whatever the outcome on Thursday, I believe we should be prepared to work together to fix the terrible state of our public finances and ensure economic stability.
“These are the key steps to a new, fairer Britain. Give me the power of your vote and we can make it happen.
“Together, we can make the difference.”
Here is talk about fairer taxes, more support for children and their schools, reform of the banks and the voting system. Plus, working together to make it all happen. Less of the one side beating against the other. Sure, we have cross party committees now, but the aim here seems to be real co-operation, not just at the sidelines.
Others will disagree and I support their right to do so. So far as politics goes I feel in most, but not all, cases our views are tainted by our experience. If we do not see another side of society we will probably always end up in the same camp. I feel, if you see and work with, however fleetingly, the less well off and hurting parts of society you cannot help but change your views, changing to a more centre-left (or is it left of centre?) way of thinking. Yes, it may seem that some people are their own worst enemies, but who am I to judge another? Surely, it is right to reach out to assist where assistance is wanted? Not to force or coerce someone to become or be something they do not want to be. If someone exploits the system, again, is for me to judge? As Joseph F Smith wrote: “it is better to give to a dozen that are unworthy than to turn away empty one worthy person.” How do you define “worthy”? We each must do that for ourselves. True, the statement was written about individuals helping others, but I feel the same can and should be extended to government and society as a whole, as well.
Maybe it won’t work, but I feel we need to try.
The people speak tomorrow!!