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A liberal manifesto for 2015

November 3rd, 2011 Posted in Liberal Democrats, Policy by

As Liberal Vision has of late focused on the here and now, perhaps it is time to turn to the vision.

The Liberal Democrats have much to think about between now and the general election. One important element, that can easily get subsumed by being in government, is to develop a manifesto that tells voters what liberalism looks like in the 21st century. Of course, one can argue about what liberalism means. Assuming that the reader broadly accepts the aims of this site, (individual liberty, limited government and a free market) what sort of policies would maximise these?

The party has talked a lot about deregulation. Vince Cable, Secretary of State at BIS, has argued for the abolition of what was the DTI and committed the coalition government to a one in, one out rule for regulation. Deregulation is only part of the story. The party needs to think about lowering barriers to entry for new businesses and ensuring markets are as open as possible.

On limiting government it has policies in place that would bring in checks and balances through constitutional reform. It might want to review these policies given that some have already been introduced. Does it need to make revisions to what has been done or develop a new approach?

Finally, but by no means least, we come to Individual liberty. Policies that put the individual in control of the public services they receive, policies that remove obstacles to plurality in public services and generally increase diversity in how we run things can only add to individual liberty.

No doubt there will be a lot of debate about how you achieve all this but the first step towards producing a liberal manifesto in 2015 is to make clear that it is liberalism that is the lode star.

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