Having been tagged by Stephen from LDV with their latest meme, here are my 7 reasons I joined the Lib Dems. Well, they are more like a 7 steps to how I came to join but here goes anyway:
1) I have been fascinated by politics for years, ever since I studied British Government and Politics in the early 90's.
2) I had resisted getting directly involved and had contented myself with watching from the sidelines, watching the political programmes and reading biographies and all the political comment but a couple of years ago I decided to get more directly involved.
3) I started by attending a couple of talks in the House of Commons organised by the Electoral Reform Society and Make Votes Count about the First Past the Post electoral system and what could be done to change it to something more proportional. Electoral reform has for many years been one of my pet issues and I started to look around for how I could actually do something to help try and change things. Starting this blog in late 2007 was my first step. But I was very aware that the only mainstream party that advocated proper reform were the Lib Dems.
4) During the 2005 election campaign I had sat down with the main policies of each of the main parties and done a tick/cross exercise against each of them. It was clear at that point that I agreed with most of the Lib Dem policies and only a few of the Tory and Labour policies. That is why I voted for them in 2005.
5) Polly Toynbee is a strong advocate of electoral reform and I corresponded with her about the fact that I wanted to do something about it. An idea I had had was to form a specific one-issue political party and to try and run candidates in marginal constituencies to highlight the problem with the system. If any candidate had got more votes than the majority in the seat then we could have claimed to have made a difference and perhaps garnered more publicity on the back of this. However Polly suggested that the best way to do something was to join the Lib Dems.
6) I spent a lot more time deliberating and after a lot of thinking I started to realise that rather than being content to stay out of party politics, I was actually an instinctive liberal on all sorts of issues. Drug laws, freedom of information, ID cards, law and order and many other issues to numerous to list here. In the end I could see no good reason to remain on the sidelines any longer.
7) So I got involved in helping Sue Doughty in Guildford (the nearest Lib Dem target seat to where I live) and everybody was really friendly and I very much enjoyed leafletting and canvassing with them a few times. I then joined the party last summer and got involved with my local constituency party. Since then I have been to the one-day conference, at the LSE, joined the committee of my local party, helped set up a local blog for the party to help with campaigning, donated my computer programming skills to the party via the technology coding group and done lots more things in both my local party and in Guildford. I am certain I am in the right party for me as I wrote previously in an article for LDV.
So, that's how I got here. Since joining there have been many, many reasons I have seen that have cemented my conviction that I have done the right thing in joining but I guess that is for another meme....