I'm keenly aware of the history and background of the party I've been working for, thank you very much.
The Liberal party stood for liberalism of all kinds, and hence, when the Liberal Democrats were formed, the liberal wing of the party continued to support liberalism, and still does today.
The Liberals were essentially a spent force when they joined the Social Democrats. The reason that the match-up worked in the first place was because the Liberals had lost much of their taste for "liberal" economics, and found their views much more closely aligned with the moderate left-wing economics of the Social Democrats. The SDs, meanwhile, were uncomfortable with the associations between the left wing and authoritarianism across Europe, and embraced the social liberalism of their new allies.
The liberal economics of the Liberals essentially disappeared at that point. Their influence on the merged party focused on social policy; that of the SDs focused on economic policy. There was some minor shifting around to accommodate both sets of views, but the marriage was remarkably straightforward - which it wouldn't have been had there been a major force remaining within the Liberals who believed in liberal economics. That ground was left entirely to the Tories.
Since its inception, then, the Liberal Democrats has been a broadly left-wing party, economically. The idea that there's a "liberal" wing and a "social democrat" wing in the LDs at this point in time is simply unsupportable - the two ideologies have merged seamlessly, and a significant majority of LD members joined the party long after the merger.
Criticising Nick Clegg for not living up to your personal idea of what "Liberal" ought to mean - founded in what is ancient political history at this stage - is ludicrous.
#4829586, By Shinji Elections; who would you vote for?
Shinji 5,902 posts
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