URGENT: Have your say on what Lib Dems should do next

If you hang around the yellow bit of the internet much you’ll know that the Lib Dem Voice server is utterly borked, owing to a surfeit of people trying to get on there to tell other people what they reckon, and a surfeit of journalists trying to get on there to selectively misrepresent to the outside world what people reckon.

The text below was the last post on there, and since it’s rather important we’re being asked to copy and circulate it far and wide, so please do. At present I am assuming this is for members only, but I will update if I hear to the contrary. Members and party supporters fine. Non-supporters who do not wish to know the results of the hung parliament negotiations should therefore look away now:

What should the party do next? Have your say by 2pm on Saturday

On Saturday afternoon the party’s Federal Executive is meeting to discuss how the party should handle the Parliamentary situation. There’s no pre-set, universally supported answer to this so the FE’s discussion is going to be meaningful and important – which means that if you want to influence what the party does, now is the time to let the FE know.

Because many members of the Federal Executive are scattered around the country – sleeping, travelling back from election counts, making their way to London and so on – the FE members may be hard to get hold of and many will not necessarily be checking their emails frequently.

Therefore, in order to ensure that people have a chance to send in a view that will be read before the meeting, we’ve agreed with the Party President Ros Scott a special email address –


which can be used to email in your views. A member of staff will collate all the messages and make sure that they are drawn to the attention of Ros and also reported to the members of the FE in time for their discussion.

A few tips when emailing this address:
– Given the pressures of time, short and concise messages are likely to be more effective than 12 pages essays [chiz – AEM]
– As with letter writing or lobbying more generally, saying in full who you are and where you’re from is likely to add to the impact of the message
– Please send your message as soon as possible


  1. Remember Nick, don’t trust the Conservatives, they no PR will push them to the side lines of British politics and with some likely help from their favorite tax avider will do every thing possible to convince people you can not have strong government with proportional representation.

    If we work with labor we have a better chance of timing the referendum right so the arguments are exposed promptly to the public and not buried in the right wing press.

    Liberal Democrats must secure a referendum on electoral reform if nothing else for the sake of British democracy.

    1. I have no idea if this will work since this post is 4 years old, but it’s worth a shot. Mr. Hamilton, I was wondering if you could get in touch with me please. I believe you may have a twitter account called “MartianMark” and I was going to ask you if you would be kind enough to release the name/handle since it’s been inactive for over 4yrs. You could do that by just changing the name to anything else. I actually own the domain with the exact same name.

      I’m assuming that since this reply is asking me for my email, that you too must have an email registered here. I’m hoping this reply reaches you.

      Thanks very much.

  2. If we had PR would we always be in permanent coalition with Labour? Only with Labour if not more than 50% of the vote for ourselves? What do we mean?

    But a referendum is a prerequisite. “No further election by FPTP ever” – I’d like Nick to headline that!

    On the verge of economic meltdown in the face of a true W profile recession, Nick doesn’t have to defend a coalition too much – in fact calling for a national government to face this countries greatest challenge since 1940 doesn’t make him a sop.

  3. These are my thoughts emailed to the Party:

    It is a good principled move to abide by the offer to explore working with the party ‘with the most number of seats and he most votes’ – the Tories.

    Lib Dem plus Labour seats do not give a majority in Parliament.

    There is a paradox that we agree with the Tories on many issues that in the past we may have expected to agree with Labour, and vice versa. We need to take a more rational view and not respond to this moment in a visceral manner.

    We must prepare ourselves to bring down the next government in possibly 3 or 4 years following a referendum on electoral/political reform and once that is made law.

    To both parties, we should:

    a) Offer a co-operation deal, in the short term, for a limited Queen’s Speech, focussed on the economy and political reform, and for a further two year period, on a bill by bill basis.

    b) Demand commitment to a referendum on electoral and parliamentary reform, working to a two year timetable.

    c) Demand Lib Dems to chair an all party group to draw up options and timetable for implementation of the above. This should not be a rerun of the Jenkins Report and not a blank sheet academic exercise, but a programme to implement, by way of a referendum.

    d) Refuse to take up Cabinet or Ministerial posts. It is a poisoned chalice.

    e) State that the basis for the two year co-operation agreement is how closly any Government’s proposals are to the four Lib Dem central manifesto commitments. Compromise is built into this judgement, but total abandonment is not. This will protect Party integrity and ensure that the Lib Dem front bench will carry the support of the party.

    Specifically in relation to the Tories:

    a) They have won most seats and most votes and we must respect this. To do otherwise will not be to our credit, however unpalatable this appears.

    b) The Tories offered a clear alternative in terms of economic policy. But at only 37% of the popular vote, they cannot ignore the 53% of voters opting for either Labour or the Lib Dems. Lib Dems must therefore ask for what we proposed, that is an ‘economic stability council’ bringing in all the parties, the Bank Of England, and the FSA. We need to de-politicise the economy as much as possible in the interests of the country.

    Specifically in relation to Labour:

    a) Starting with the fact that in combination Lib Dems and Labour would not give a Commons majority and at 53% of the vote, a bare majority, we should expect more in order to strike a deal.

    b) We need to ensure that parties representing Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland are brought in. This is not just for political expediency, ie. to make up the numbers in the lobby, but because of our belief in democracy, devolved power and that the distribution of ‘fairness’ is in itself ‘fair’.

    c) We must reiterate what Nick Clegg said about the political and public effect of Gordon Brown’s remaining Prime Minister. Mr Brown’s continuation as PM will continue to cast a shadow on a Government, and will not provide a feeling that the election has actually resolved anything, or helped the country move on. It will also make any potential co-operation with Labour more difficult to ‘sell’ to the country, or even our own party. But ultimately, this is a matter for Labour and should not be made a red line issue. Policy has to trump personality in this.

    The results are an enormous disappointment. But we must take comfort in the degree of enthusiasm that we as a Party brought to politics. Unlike votes, this enthusiasm can dissipate.

    As Nick Clegg said, we need to redouble our efforts. We must reassure and even cajole people to vote for what they feel is right and not against something they fear is more wrong.

    Jay Sharma
    Former Lib Dem Councillor, LB Islington

  4. The FE should support the leadership rather than attempt to throw any weight around. This is vital if we are to convince the public that hung parliaments are not to be feared.

  5. The majority of voters in the UK voted to not have a conservative government. I am disgusted that clegg is even considering getting into bed with the tories. Another election should be made. This time Labour will get my vote.

  6. This is now the time for very serious high politics, so we have to be prepared to play brinkmanship right to the very edge.

    I have confidence in our team and I’m optimistic about the outcome – we’ve lost the less reliable faces from parliament and should form a tighter unit as a consequence; we won’t be pushed around or bullied by other parties.

    So I won’t offer an opinion, instead I’ll give a prediction of a basic supply and confidence agreement, a short 18-month to 2-year parliament (ha, to fixed terms anyway) and increased fracturing of the party system.

  7. Another point to remember is that we had a stable government before the election and we still have active policies in place. So why dose a new government need to be formed over night.

    We must defend our manifesto and that includes the reform needed for future democracy in our country. Remember the Conservatives only got 36% of the vote most people voted liberal democrat or for labor so any collision would have a strong majority in terms of vote sheer.

  8. i voted lib dem but i didnt vote for these cuts an i most cirtenly didnt vote for the torry party. we put money into anti drugs campaines around the world when in facket we should be plowing money into the prouduction of all drugs amagen the money we could make. i for 1 reckin it could compleatly wipe out the national debt an lower taxes an i for 1 dont care how it would make us look to the rest of the world. an last but not least. forrin aid a frount line service but home aid to face cuts i.e the future jobs fund houseing benerfit things i would concider home aid. if we had a major national desaster how meny of these bums oops countries we have helpped in the past offer the same. i say put brition first aspecherly know. p.s if you want me vote in the next election get out of the torrys but cheeks. i voted for change from the 80s and 90s. i voted for you


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