Friday, August 06, 2004

Making the wrong choice

Paul Kingsnorth makes one or two good points about the Lib Dems in his most recent blog. It's frustrating that you can't comment though.

I suspect the parliamentarians are using this new book to claim a 'policy shift' as a means of making themselves look 'sensible' and 'respectable' prior to a General Election. It's also the 'let's win Tory voters over' strategy which I've never been convinced by. Basically it goes like this: Lib Dems lie second in more Tory-held seats than Labour ones. To win those seats Lib Dems need to win Tory voters. Therefore we need to present ourselves as similar to Tories.

Living in East London I think this is rubbish. Even though we were third in Bethnal Green & Bow last time, there are plenty of disillusioned and jaded Labour voters and non-voters out there who want someone from the centre-left to speak up for them.

Rather than conform to mainstream thinking we should be looking at creative and imaginative ways to deal with the problems we face. One way we could do this is to introduce participatory budgeting at a local level, like they do in Brazil. I wrote about this for Liberator back in February, but I still haven't heard anyone take it up with any enthusiasm. Maybe it's about time I reminded them...

1 comment:

Guacamoleville said...

I think it's a fair point about the appeal of PB to some of the LDs' more radical constituency, in the same way that the Liberals of the Hain era flirted with Yugoslavian neighbourhood management. But can you see David Laws or Mark Oaten going for that? Me neither.