Power 2010′s electoral reform demonstrations today really captured the mood of many voters, particularly those who voted LibDem, when it comes to electoral reform and more extensive political reform. Even if the Tories do offer us electoral reform, which I find very unlike seen as Cameron would most likely face a leadership challenge if he did, they will not implement the extensive political reform the Libdems’ want and the country needs. This is not to mention all the other areas of political disjuncture between us and the Tories, which I think most of our members have voiced their concerns about.
Whilst Nick Clegg addressed these protests with the words that has made him and us such an exciting force in the election, I will no longer believe them until he stops these pointless talks with the Tories and realises that the only way we can possibly deliver most of our policies and principles is with what Alex Salmond has rightly called, a ‘progressive alliance’. Power 2010 claim:
“For the first time in a long time it feels like the politicians are listening to us. Nick Clegg heard our demands. He took the petition that tens of thousands of us have signed. Clegg holds the balance of power and the fate of Proportional Representation in his hands. But today as the crowd chanted, “Don’t sell out” – people power forced him to speak to us.”
Well, personally, if Clegg continues these talks and actually does what it appears he is going to do – and that is back the Tories – he hasn’t listened to us. He has stabbed his party members in the back, most of who have campaigned on policies that are essential for political reform. If he joins the Tories, all those hopes and aspirations will die, it, in my opinion, will start the destruction of this party. If Clegg does listen however, as Power 2010 right say, it will be he and the LibDems who have taken this historical moment to seize the much-needed change to the voting system.
If Clegg is to claim, when he was addressing the rally:
“I’ve campaigned for a better, more open, more transparent, new politics, every single day of this general election campaign. I genuinely believe it is in the national interest.”
Then trying to form a deal with the Tories is a waste of time. Labour would replace us as the party of reform, our chance of becoming the new ‘progressive’ party will be destroyed, and Tories would replace us in the south – as why bother voting for the LibDems if they are just the mini Tories? Furthermore, we will see mass membership defections and most likely MPs and councillors defecting. This really would be, in my opinion, the end of the LibDems as we know it.