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Lib Dems - Why I Joined

I've always been interested in politics, but never joined a political party. I've voted for most parties over the years, drawn to particular leaders that I trusted at the time, or to policies I deemed of utmost importance. In 2010 I supported Nick Clegg, and I felt the coalition was enormously successful, mainly thanks to him. In 2015, I wished I could vote for more of the same. Alas, his support in the 2010 manifesto for free university tuition was the undoing of not only Clegg but also the Liberal Democrats, at least temporarily.

Then came Brexit. Everything about the referendum was wrong, from how and why it was called, to how the people with the most to gain from the EU were disenfranchised, the lies that distorted the campaigning on both sides and the misconception as to whether it should be binding or not. My vote is a precious thing - the lies that "stole" people's votes undermined democracy. Almost every MP, with a few noble exceptions, chose to forget their responsibilities as MPs, as set out at http://tinyurl.com/khs6h9u on the UK Parliament website. They put their careers and their party before their responsibility to the UK.

The Liberal Democrats recognise that leaving the EU is profoundly risky and that a snapshot of public opinion on a single day in June 2016 is an insufficient basis to proceed with the disaster that Brexit is likely to be. I joined the party on 17 January 2017, the day that Theresa May lied at Lancaster House, with her statement that "both sides in the referendum campaign made it clear that a vote to leave the EU would be a vote to leave the Single Market". She is attempting to rewrite history with a blatant lie. The Lib Dems are the only party recognising the need for a second referendum so that the so-called "will of the people" can be demonstrated to have changed (as demographics dictate it must).

Having joined the party, I now realise that Brexit is not the only reason to be a Lib Dem. There is a deeper reason… Old-style "first past the post" politics is undemocratic. Favouring two parties only, it results in ricocheting between extremes of policy, so that each decade, much is undone from the previous decade. The world needs calmer, centre-ground politics, emphasising compromise and tolerance towards all people across a diverse spectrum and recognising that "citizens of the world" are the best way to sustain peace. I know there will be Lib Dem policies that I don't like over the coming years, but ultimately, the centre of the political spectrum is the wise place to be.

I became actively involved a week before the local elections in May 2017. It was a revelation to see how dedicated and hard-working Lib Dems are at a local level. It was also encouraging to be welcomed on doorsteps and to discover how many other people dislike the current move by the Tories, back to intolerant and selfish policies.

Jacky P - Daventry