An open letter to Nick Clegg

Dear Nick

When I went to the polls on Thursday I voted as I have voted in the past four elections since I have been eligible: for Liberal Democrats.

I voted, as I have always done, with my conscience for a Party that best epitomised honest and fair politics for the whole spectrum of British society, a Party that embraced Britain’s proud place within a broader European climate, a Party that has shown to see the thrust of technology in modern British life and the inclusivity that it affords. And the role of the environment in our lives and its precedence over a military budget that emphasises a long-extinguished war with a long-forgotten enemy. And proportional representation. A fairer electoral system where a party that wins 20% of the votes will get 20% representation in our House of Parliament.

Two mornings later and I feel shocked and suprised at the thought of a Liberal Democrat coalition with the Conservative Party. In an age of political scandal I respect your integrity and principles in adhering to what you had said earlier in the campaign.

However I cannot see an alignment with the Conservative Party that would not significantly compromise your Manifesto which I believe strongly in and voted for at the ballot last Thursday.

I therefore ask you to reconsider any proposals from the Conservative Party for a shared governance of this country. Yes, Britain voted for change two days ago and as I have always felt change is not either side of a two-dimensional political spectrum. The British people have expressed their disatisfaction with their current government. They have expressed their disatisfaction with the political process.

A hung parliament is not to be feared – despite Cameron and Murdoch’s protestations over the past few weeks and this gives you an unprecedented level of power in the forthcoming governance of Britain. I urge you then to give serious thought to a solution that does not compromise the manifesto I and you both believe in for the pursuit of power.

Otherwise I fear I just could not bring myself to vote Liberal Democrat again.

Kind regards,

Dr Cole Henley

Comments

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Cole, I echo your sentiments here.

Interestingly the Democracy thing on Facebook would slightly agree with you also;
“The election has resulted in a hung Parliament. What do you want to see happen next?”
The results so far? :
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/560599/hungparliamentfb.png

With you. I just wrote to my Libdem MP

I’d like you to represent my views to Nick Clegg. Please do NOT go into a deal with the Tories and start savaging public services.

Please support Brown, but make the price of your support a referendum on introducing real voting reform (so number of seats is related to %age of national vote, not tinkering with first past the post as Cameron seems to want to do), and the scrapping of ID cards.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get a really fair voting system in place that will radically change Britian in a way that will last much longer than any of us will last. Britian voted for change – this is the chance to give it to us.

I would not fear too much just yet. By talking to the Conservatives, the Lib Dems are giving themselves every opportunity to look good at the expense of the other parties.

Clegg is happy to speak to Cameron about a coalition government, but when the Conservatives fail to offer him policy compromises, Clegg will be free to walk away. Moreover, he will be able to say that he stuck to his guns: first by trying to respect voter choices (after all, the Conservatives did win the most votes), and second by not compromising on the Lib Dem agenda.

But then, I’m optimistic. The Lib Dems have waited a long time to gain influence in Westminster. Why blow their chances at real reforms now by teaming up with the Tories?

I wrote to my local Lib Dem MP this morning too, before seeing this! I expect a lot of Lib Dem voters are thinking exactly the same.

Dear Malcolm,

It was after great deliberation and consideration, that I cast my vote for you on Thursday in the General Election – After receiving several disappointing emails from Liberal Democrat councillors, MSP’s and MP’s on issues such as the digital economy bill and Union Terrace Gardens – I put my personal (localised) problems to one side – and voted for “you guys”, thinking of the bigger picture for the UK.

I am now horrified to think my vote was actually for the Tories. I know there are lots of details and considerations, and that you may believe that the Lib Dems can “temper” or keep in check a Tory government– but I am urging you to search deep, and think of the historical implication of having a Tory government, or perhaps even just the daily disrespect the Liberals encounter in parliament from the Tories?

I do not envy Nick Gelgg’s position – but I do hope that you can pass on this message, and please, do not be enamoured by the chance of “power” for the loss of principles.

I (and I see on faceBook) many other Lib Dem voters would most definitely not vote for your party again if a Conservative deal were to be made.

Yours,

Phil Thompson