The Liberal Democrat Problem.

[Another one of the entries for the Politics Prize 2013 within College]:

There is a better way of doing things if only you bother to look for it” according to Nick Clegg, a theme which he believes stands at the heart of the Liberal Democrat party. Liberal Democrats are about freedom; they believe that “power belongs, first and foremost, with the people” and that in the idea that we deserve to be able to use our civil liberties as much as possibly, granted that we do not infringe on others. The 2010 election saw a surge in support for the Liberal Democrats with ‘Cleggmania’ gripping the nation, mainly thanks to the televised debates. Before this election the Liberal Democrats struggled on the fringes of the politics, a third party in a two party system. A joke. The Liberal Democrats promised so much but they broke those promises, in so many different ways.

There is no doubt that the Liberal Democrats had some success in 2010. Before this election the last Liberal Democrat Prime Minister was David Lloyd George and even he headed a Conservative-dominated coalition government. He stepped down in 1922 – nearly a hundred years ago, not exactly the political standing of a key political party. The Liberal Democrat party as we know it today was formed in 1987 when it the Liberal Party and the Social Democrat party merged. Key events such as the Iraq War helped to boost support for the parties, as those opposed to it turned away from the Labour Party following Tony Blair’s decision to intervene in the conflict. Perhaps one of the biggest contributors to the success of the Liberal Democrat party in the 2010 elections was as a result of the TV debates and of Cleggmania. While Brown and Cameron bickered across each other, Nick Clegg was able to step in with clear concise points. According to The Guardian he ‘stole the first televised leader’s debate’ by presenting himself as a “fresh and honest alternative”. Perhaps one of the biggest successes of Clegg in this election is that he led to the questioning of Britain’s two-party system, even if the result of the election was a coalition government.

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Independence or Bust?

The issue of Scottish Independence has been increasingly found time in the news recently. From whether the nation would stay apart of the EU, to would 16 year old get the vote, the potential break-up of the union remains at the heart of British politics. What makes this issue so interesting is that the answer is ambiguous. It will either go one way, or the other. But as of yet no one really knows.

The first argument for Scotland to become an independent state is the core principle in politics that a nation should control its own political and legal destiny. The nation state has been at the heart of modern Western politics, with revolutions being fought for national self-determination and liberation since the 18th century. As a proud and distinct community with a shared sense of culture, history and identity, the Scots have a clear political right to be independent of Britain. There is nothing strange or unreasonable in this demand- it is the bedrock of democracy.

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