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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

a lesson in liberalism from the labour party

For liberals who are wondering how it is that you express liberal beliefs and values in an intellectual, principled, and new sounding way, I have seen no better example than this advertisement for the Labour Party. Granted, they have publicly funded TV time, and subsequently much longer and more thoughtful ads, but it's interesting to watch these ads and think about the success Labour has had in packaging themselves as pro-business and pro-government at the same time. You can watch other real Labour Ads (as opposed to the great fake ones Jamal posted on Saturday) here.

So, in case you don't read international news, Britain's general elections are this week, and it's going to be an interesting day. It looks like Labour will win, but it may be closer than many liberals would like. For a funny take on British public opinion, I recommend this poll. (more in expanded post)

Also, there's a great article in today's NYTs about liberal strategists and organizers (notably my old boss at both the Dean Campaign and the DNC Karen Hicks) going over to Britain to work for Tony Blair and the Labour Party. It's an interesting piece.


At 7:18 AM, Blogger O_Pombo said...

It`s never enough to advise a certain carefulness when talking about "liberals" and conservatives in relation to European politics, since those phrases don`t mean exactly the same as in the US. A leftist party would never be caught calling himself "liberal" (nor even a centre-left party such as Labour), since "liberal" is too much connotated with free-market-worshiping and a "less-state-better-state" attitude. For us, for example, a party such as the Republican would be regarded as "liberal", since "liberals" and "conservatives" are two branches of the right-wing family. The Democratic party, on the other hand, would be considered "democratic socialist" or "new labour", "third path" or any other nickname that we make up trying to explain our strange and twisted "Realpolitik".

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Alicia said...

My boyfriend is voting Torrie, but I think he is in the minority. It is an interesting time here though. What I've found is that a lot of people are just going with the lesser of the evils because each party has something they want to offer that no one wants. Labour, for instance, wants to introduce ID cards and make the citizens pay for them, both Labour and Conservative want to instate top up fees to universities, and the Lib Dems want to actually listen to the EU more and to convert the pound stirling over to the eruo. So there are a lot of people who like most of what each party has to offer, and loath the one big difference. What also throws the elections off a bit is no one is really sure how things a going to work. True, ablishing top up fees at uni is very good, but how would that apply to Scotland, which operates on its own educational system. What is problematic is that the party leaders can say a lot, but the United Kingdom is made up of 4 different countries, and although they are all funded by Westminster, what might work in one country won't work in another.


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