As It Is or As I Am – the Art of Becoming

A journey … towards … being

Why I’m voting Liberal Democrat tomorrow …

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!!

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2 responses to “Why I’m voting Liberal Democrat tomorrow …

  1. Anne 5 May, 2010 at 19:22

    nice entry. When I first knew you, you were very Tory- apparently we are supposed to move more to the right as we grow older. I’ve done the exact opposite, and you have too, so there’s an end to that particular theory!
    Will be interested to see what the turnout is tomorrow.

  2. Neil 6 May, 2010 at 11:41

    Indeed, we are bucking the trend. A few people where I work have commented I should be going more right than left as I get older. Always one to go against the trend 🙂

    I think a lot of people vote as their family have done for generations – unless or until they have an experience that takes them out of their own comfort zone. Once they see and experience the other side of society to what they are used to, they then have the opportunity and perhaps motivation to change their voting patterns.

    This is what happened with me. As its “my experience” maybe I shouldn’t extend these thoughts to all UK voters 😉 I feel sure though that if I had not started counselling and seen another side of society, compared to my usual experience, I would no doubt be still voting conservative.

    Maybe Labour “… plans for a National Youth Community Service, with the goal that all young people contribute at least 50 hours to their communities by the age of 19, building on citizenship education and community engagement in schools.” might be of value? Though, once anything becomes compulsory it can start to loose its initial purpose and value. I think it would need to have people serving in the opposite side of the community they usually associate with. Rich down with the less well off and deprived. Whilst the rich might not need the service of the less well off, it might also be good to have some way of getting the less well off to see the other side of things.

    Anne, not sure if circumstances still prevent you from getting to meetings each week, if they are, you’d probably be interested to know the First Presidency sent a letter to be read in Sacrament last Sunday: “… in the upcoming general election, we urge members of the Church to study issues and to exercise their privilege to vote.” Not seen that done before in UK elections, have you?

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