LDCF Director, Claire Mathys shares why she will be voting for the Liberal Democrats on 7th May 2015.
I believe that the ten core values identified by Ekklesia ** are best met by the Liberal Democrat Party. Liberal Democrats care about giving everyone an equal chance in life, reducing the gap between rich and poor, and protecting creation. The Party's three key values in it's constitution are 'liberty', 'equality' and 'community'. It believes in building strong communities in which local people are empowered to govern themselves and have a greater say in the decisions that affect their lives.
Liberal Democrats believe that each and every person has value. This means that they should be given opportunities to make something of their lives, and that they have rights that should be protected. The role of the state is to empower citizens and protect their liberty. Consequently, Liberal Democrats often stand up for the 'outsider' and support causes which are not always popular – for example, protecting the rights of refugees by ending child detention and arguing for the abolition of indefinite detention; pushing for better rehabilitation of prisoners so that they can get a job after prison and rebuild their lives; and helping people with mental health problems to get the support they need quickly.
The vision of the party is to build a stronger economy and a fairer society. It is the distinct values of the Liberal Democrats that have motivated members and activists to fight against the two party system for so many decades, and these values have been evident in government as it has steered the Coalition towards fairness and social justice. The commitment to helping the poorest people in the world, through the Lib Dem MP Michael Moore's International Development Act, the provision of free school meals for all 4-7 year olds, and the raising of the tax threshold so that low paid workers receive a £700 tax cut, have all helped to address inequality. Going forward, the party's deep emphasis on tackling climate change and creating affordable housing makes me confident that the party is driven by the right values. These are some of the reasons why I'll be voting Liberal Democrat on 7th May.
**The 10 core values which Ekklesia believe Christians should prioritise in this election are:
(1) A commitment to favouring the poorest and most vulnerable
(2) Actively redressing social and economic injustices and inequalities
(3) Welcoming the stranger and valuing displaced and marginalised people
(4) Seeing people, their dignity and rights as the solution not the problem
(5) Moving from punitive ‘welfare’ to a society where all can genuinely fare well
(6) Promoting community and neighbourhood empowerment
(7) Food, education, health, housing, work and sustainable income for all
(8) Care for planet and people as the basis for human development
(9) Investing in nonviolent alternatives to war and force as the basis for security
(10) Transparency, honesty and accountability in public and economic life