One thing I see over and over again is that voting anything other than Conservative or Labour is a waste of time even if your chosen party wins. While this is understandable, my argument is that there is a very good reason for voting Liberal Democrat anyway, even if that means that your MP will be part of the third largest party in England. Is a vote for us a wasted vote? I don’t think so, and here’s why.
In our current system of First Past the Post, the long term system is such that the expectation is that there will be two parties largely sharing power. Indeed, this is shown by the fact that generally we refer to the government and the opposition in the House of Commons, where the opposition is entirely represented by the second largest party. It is vital for our democracy that the opposition is both credible and strong so that the government is rightly held to account for its actions or lack thereof. Given the rampant dishonesty and cronyism that we have seen over the last decade, I believe that the Conservatives in this role would be useless.
Because of how the current system works, the expectation for the next General Election is that Labour will be the single largest party, the Conservatives second, and the Liberal Democrats third (in England – the SNP are likely to continue to be the largest party in Scotland).
This means that, in official terms, the Conservatives are expected to be the official opposition. To me, this is intolerable. The Conservatives have shown themselves to be utterly incompetent in every aspect of running the country. I do not trust them to offer a credible opposition to the government following their near inevitable defeat in the next general election. I believe that it is time for another party to start making moves towards being the official opposition.
The Overton Window
The Overton Window describes the range of political views expressed within the legislature. With our existing system, that practically means the right- or left-wing tendencies of the Conservative and Labour parties, as it is mostly their positions which are expressed into national policy. The generally accepted understanding is that as the party in charge moves in one direction or another, the other moves in that direction to accommodate. Given the Conservatives are currently in charge and have largely become dominated by the lunatic frings on the hard right, the Labour party has responded by moving into the space left unoccupied by the Conservatives, making them much more right wing than they were under Corbyn in the hope that they can entice some of the swing voters from the middle ground to their cause.
As a consequence Labour will likely be the government, and based on their existing announcements, I believe that means that they will represent the centre, possibly even the centre-right of UK politics, as they have shifted in that direction in recent years. This leaves a vacuum for a genuinely left-wing parties who care about social issues, economic fairness, protection of workers’ rights, etc. To my mind, that wholly describes the Liberal Democrats.
Can We Win?
If the question is can we win nationally, while it is possible it is highly unlikely while we still have the First Past The Post system of voting. As such, we need to look at a strategy spanning several parliaments rather than focusing on whether we can win a majority at the next election. This is similar to the Japanese concept of kaizen, or little steps of gradual improvement.
Across the country you will see this type of strategy employed by local Liberal Democrat parties. Some seats are broadly unwinnable, others there is a strong chance. You will tend to see the party put more effort into these winnable seats than into those where the outcome is already nearly certain.
In the case of Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner, I believe this seat is winnable. I believe that the incumbant MP, David Simmonds, is tainted by his party to the point where his continuing role as an MP is untenable. Labour have not even announced their candidate for the constituency, showing that they do not care much about the area.
Campaigning in Eastcote
We have started campaigning already. We are getting out and seeing constituents in the areas and listening to problems that are caused by both the local Conservative council and the national Conservative government, and we are listening.
Help us win in Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner. Help us to become the voice of reason in Parliament.
Ian, thank you once again for your support. It means a lot.
Thank you so much for [creating this petition] and so amazingly quickly!!!
You did a brilliant job on both the blog and petition. Some of the NHS staff were even impressed with the speed at which you addressed this, and I have had varying positive comments from friends who have read your post.
Hazeena A - Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner Resident
Having worked with Ian I can say that I found him incredibly transparent and honest which I think would be rare and much needed in today political arena. He is also very clever, direct and a great communicator.
Sheena Y, former co-worker
Ian is a very smart individual, but more importantly is honest and truly cares about people.
He is an unselfish individual and would absolutely have the public's best interests at heart.
Andy H, brother
I met Ian a few months ago for the first time and straight away I felt confortable with him and I thought: " Ok I would trust that guy".
Luca M, fellow speakers' club member
Throughout the 12 years I have known Ian, he has always demonstrated to be very bright, kind and upright. I've seen all of these attributes in his personal life, for instance, in our sport association he volunteered as treasurer where he improved the overall system and costs as well as championing charitable giving & generous donations. He'll definitely make a difference in a bigger role in politics.
Francisco V, fellow jū jūtsu instructor and friend
You have the moral integrity and high standards in all aspects of the requirements of your potential constituents. You will stand up to injustice and defend those deemed to have had injustice against them. You are committed to environmental change and to look after the less well off in society.
Irene H, mother
First and foremost, your personal ethos of kindness and care for others is your top qualification. That you are also highly driven with a need to be productive, and understand very complex matters such as financial systems, makes you stand out.
Graham C, fellow jū jūtsu instructor and friend
You are one of the most principled people that I know. You are committed to making changes that support the most vulnerable in our society and you don’t give up when you know you’re fighting for what’s right.
Unlike the rest of us who are disillusioned with the lack of honesty, morals, and the unfair and outdated ‘public schoolboy network’ displayed by this government, you have decided to stand up and make a difference.
Your constituents couldn’t have a better candidate.
Helen C, Aunt
Having known Ian for a number of years during which we worked closely as Financial Advisers, I am confident that he would make an excellent MP. Ian is an intelligent man who has the ability to absorb, understand and manage complex information quickly; I have, on many occasions, witnessed him do this whilst retaining the ability to explain it, in a manner which is easy to understand.
I have seen Ian display the courage of his convictions on a professional level, where he has put the clients needs before that of the company and have no doubt he would carry this attitude into public life.
Ian and I have disagreed on politics in the past, but he has always listened carefully to any position and taken time to offer a thoughtful response. If he became an MP I am sure his constituents would benefit from an effective and hard working representative.
Miles H, former co-worker