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Key priorities

For the 2015 general election, the five key priorities of the Liberal Democrats were identified in the manifesto as follows:

  • a secure economy
  • fair taxes
  • quality health care for all, with equal priority given to mental and physical health
  • opportunity for every child
  • protection of the environment.

Those priorities hold just as true today, since they are built on the basic tenets of liberal thought. The Liberal Democrats believe in a stronger economy, a fairer society, and in making opportunity available to everyone. Underpinning Liberal Democrat policy is a belief in equality, tolerance and fairness for all. We believe in democracy, and we want our electoral system to change so that election results and governmental organisation more closely match the voting decisions of the people involved in the democratic process. We believe in our role on the world stage, and in the importance of the UK's continued membership of the EU, and we take seriously the implications of national decisions with cross-border ramifications.

Policies

The fine detail of individual policies may change as new situations arise, or as new information is taken on board, but the underlying principles hold true, so the manifesto is just a glimpse of how policy stood at that particular moment in time. New policies emerge and are adopted throughout the year, after being debated at party conference. The Liberal Democrats are an emphatically democratic party, and policies are adopted if the majority of voting members vote for them (after being given the opportunity for due consideration of the papers, weighing up of the arguments, and even the chance to contribute to the debate). There will inevitably be policies which are not supported unanimously throughout the party, and it is likely that many members will disagree with individual policies or even with entire areas of policy, despite supporting both the philosophy and the democratic process that caused those policies to be adopted. A majority vote means that a minority (sometimes a sizeable proportion) have had their wishes overturned! But well thought-through and considered difference of opinion is healthy, and ensures that many aspects of an issue are considered during the process.

Local government

The Liberal Democrats are proud of their long record in working with and for the people who live in their local areas, as parish councillors, town councillors, district councillors and county councillors. We believe in giving communities the power to improve their society and surroundings, and in working with them to achieve that vision. We communicate with our communities (for example, through the Focus newsletter delivered through letterboxes), and we invite them to communicate with us.

Topics

Reading the detail of last year's election manifesto gives a good overview of the sorts of things that Liberal Democrats care about, and you can download the full manifesto, or a number of specialised subsets of it, from http://www.libdems.org.uk/read-the-full-manifesto.

Manifesto cover