The Apollo Project
Liberal Ideas for the 21st Century
Thursday, February 16, 2006
For-Ming an Opinion
By Steve Travis

The deed is now done. After time for final reflection, my vote in the leadership election was cast and posted today. For the record, it was:

1 Ming Campbell
2 Chris Huhne
3 Simon Hughes

All three candidates have strengths, and all three have weaknesses. All three would make good leaders of the party and would, no doubt, grow into the role. All three are also fortunate to have a talented front-bench team.

In the end, though, a decision has to be made. And what tipped it for me was this statement:

If the Liberal Democrats are to be credible on public finances and on social policy, we will need to demonstrate that we are capable not only of suggesting extra spending, but also identifying savings. Only in this way will the party be able to free up resources for its key spending priorities.

We need as a matter of urgency to devise a [tax] system that is both simpler and fairer and that maximises opportunity, not penalises achievement.

This demonstrates to me that of the three, Ming is most in touch with the issues that matter to the electorate. This is the way we will build the further electoral success which enables us to put Liberal ideas into practice, and is, after all, what we are in politics to acheive.
posted by Apollo Project @ 10:41 am  
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"What is Liberalism?: I should say it means the acknowledgment in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can at least avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life." C-B.

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The Apollo Project seeks to put together new ideas on policies and campaigning to help broaden the appeal and enhance the impact of the Liberal Democrats.

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