Monday, 21 March 2011

Putting the 'Lib' into 'Libya'-and exit strategy?

Aaaaaaaarghgghhhhhghhghghhhhhh is pretty much the noise I'm making trying to ponder this one out. Deciding what the Lib Dems would have to do to piss me off enough to leave blah blah blah has given me a lot of thought, and as mentioned in a previous post, a war was the one thing I generally stuck to. And also from previous posts you will know of my anti-interventionist foreign policy view for reasons I won't repeat. After a few days of pondering I have basically decided I disagree with military intervention in Libya. So the question is, do I leave the party?

  • This is an armed conflict that I disagree with. That is very serious.
  • The moral high ground over Labour has now been somewhat lost. No matter what happened until now, we had the 'at least we didn't kill loads of people' argument. And to be honest, 'not as bad as Labour' is not a very high standard to set for your party anyway, so if they slump to near that standard, there is clearly a serious problem.
  • If not now, then when? The party has done many things I don't fully support, although I agree with coalitions in general, this coalition, and accept that many things have been done in compromise. But if something happens which I had previously decided would definitely be a last straw, and I still remain in the party I have to ask myself if there's anything they can do that would make me leave. Have I become one of these tribal political slaves who belongs to a party for no reason beyond 'because they do'?
  • It would be a relief not to have to defend a lot of bad coalition policies any more.
  • I still generally agree with the party's role in coalition. Is it silly to leave over an issue like this?
  • The situation is completely different from Iraq. International agreement has been reached, and military intervention is being done very cautiously which is a good thing, plus there is already a conflict so the UN can't be accused of warmongering.
  • There is broad consensus that military action is the right thing to do, demonstrated by today's vote in parliament. Even the Green Party has supported a no fly zone, and there is no obvious anti-war movement.
  • I have quite a strong anti-war stance that no party really conforms to. Can I condemn the party for agreeing to a war which has some strong arguments for it and is not clearly wrong the way Iraq was?
  • Personal reasons. I like being in a party, and I like getting into party-related arguments. Being in a party is a gateway to all sorts of political activity and experience, particularly in a university. The Liberal Democrats are my social life. I love spending time with them and had a great time at party conference. I have also made several friends who I would no longer see or would be alienated from if I left. Working for a party is also a great way to get work experience. I have a lot to lose by leaving.
  • The Lib Dems would have supported this military involvement in opposition too, and I probably would not have been put off them for it. When I set the benchmark was it not for supporting a war that was clearly wrong in the name of compromise or holding the coalition together? The purpose of setting a benchmark was how far a compromise I am not prepared to accept. This policy is not a compromise.
  • There is no other party I would rather be a member of, and I will probably vote Lib Dem at the next election regardless.
Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

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