Liberal Democrat Party

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See Scottish Liberal Democrats for additional information about the Liberal Democrat Party in Scotland.
See Welsh Liberal Democrats for additional information about the Liberal Democrat Party in Wales.


The Liberal Democrats, often shortened to Lib Dems or just Liberals, are a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party.

The current leader is Tim Farron.

2017 General Election Manifesto

The 2017 Manifesto can be downloaded from: http://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

FullFact manifesto launch factcheck: https://fullfact.org/event/2017/May/17

Letter from leader Tim Farron to Campaign for Science and Engineering: http://www.sciencecampaign.org.uk/resource/letter-LibDem-tim-farron-2017.html

Manifesto analysis from the Institute of Fiscal Studies: https://election2017.ifs.org.uk/

Carbon Brief manifesto comparison on climate & energy: https://www.carbonbrief.org/election-2017-what-minfestos-say-energy-climate-change

LSE Centre for Economic Performance climate policy analysis: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/election2017/abstract.asp?index=5455

Open Rights Group manifesto highlights: https://wiki.openrightsgroup.org/wiki/General_Election_2017_Party_Manifestos

Universities UK on higher education: http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/blog/Pages/Election-2017-what-the-manifestos-say-on-higher-education.aspx

Ars Technica on tech policy: https://arstechnica.co.uk/tech-policy/2017/05/liberal-democrats-manifesto-2017/

BBC Manifesto Guide: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-39955886

2015 General Election Manifesto

The 2015 Manifesto can be downloaded from: https://www.libdemnewswire.com/liberal-democrat-general-election-manifestos/

FullFact General Election Report: https://fullfact.org/general_election_factcheck-2015-44554

The Conversation Manifesto Check: https://theconversation.com/uk/manifesto-check-2015#lib-dems

Campaign for Science and Engineering analysis: http://sciencecampaign.org.uk/?page_id=17182

The Royal Society on energy, environment, education, research, innovation: http://blogs.royalsociety.org/in-verba/tag/election2015/

The Carbon Brief on climate & energy: http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/04/election-2015-what-the-manifestos-say-on-climate-and-energy/

Research Fortnight on research and innovation: https://www.researchprofessional.com/media/pdf/RF455_election_supplement.pdf

British Humanist Association on humanist issues: https://humanism.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Comparing-key-humanist-issues…

Open Rights Group on surveillance: https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2015/surveillance-in-the-general-election-manifestos

Ars Technica on digital policy and science policy

Campaign for Freedom of Information comparison: https://www.cfoi.org.uk/2015/04/foi-manifesto-commitments/

Election Manifesto 2010

The election manifesto is available at: http://www.libdems.org.uk/our_manifesto.aspx

Summary from The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/14/liberal-democrat-manifesto-at-a-glance

Comment on the science content: http://timesonline.typepad.com/science/2010/04/manifesto-watch-the-liberal-democrats-on-science.html

Analysis from Channel 4's FactCheck: http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/2010/04/14/lib-dem-manifesto-2010-planes-poverty-footballs/

Science Policy

July 2012 science policy paper: http://www.libdems.org.uk/siteFiles/resources/docs/policy/SciencePolicy.pdf (debated at Autumn 2012 conference?).

See also: http://sciencecampaign.org.uk/?p=10553

Stance on Skeptical Issues

Libel Law Reform

Representatives from the campaign group Sense About Science spoke at a fringe meeting for libel reform at the party conference on 20th September 2009. Following this the party voted overwhelmingly in favour of libel law reform[1]. This took the form of a call for "The protection of freedom of expression, by reforming the libel laws in England and Wales to ensure that a better balance is provided between free speech, responsible journalism, scientific discourse and the public interest on the one hand and powerful corporations, wealthy individuals and vested interests on the other."[2].

The Liberal Democrat Policy Briefing on Civil Liberties of October 2009 stated that "One of the first acts of a Liberal Democrat government will be to table a Freedom Bill to scrap the most intrusive and illiberal laws introduced by Labour. We will: [multiple points skipped] Protecting freedom of expression by reforming libel laws."[3]

By March 2010, all Liberal Democrat MPs had signed Early Day Motion 423 in favour of libel law reform[4] (excepting Nick Clegg since by parliamentary convention, party leaders do not sign non-legislative EDMs).

Alternative Medicine

The party issued a statement on 11th March 2010:

A recent report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee examined the provision of homeopathy through the NHS and called for funding by the NHS to be stopped. The Committee did recognise that many users derive benefit from its use and did not argue that such treatments should be banned.
The Liberal Democrats believe that, as a basic principle, individuals should have maximum freedom about how they choose to get treated, so long as the therapy is safe. When it comes to NHS provision, we support a review by NICE into the cost effectiveness of Complementary and Alternative (CAMs) therapies, including homeopathy; as well as expanding the work of NICE to look at the cost-effectiveness of existing conventional treatments.
We know that many complementary therapies are popular with the public. The NHS budget is limited and we want to make sure that NHS funding is focused on treatments which are efficacious and cost-effective. NICE reviews of all existing treatments would give us the best possible basis for future decisions over funding.[5]

References

  1. http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/403
  2. http://www.libdems.org.uk/constitutional_reform_detail.aspx?title=Policy_Motion%3a_Standing_Up_for_Civil_Liberties_-_carried&pPK=8cca2cac-052e-4b11-93b5-6540295b9da3
  3. http://www.libdems.org.uk/siteFiles/resources/Word%20Docs/Policy%20Briefing%20-%20Civil%20Liberties%20Oct%2009.doc
  4. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  5. http://www.libdemvoice.org/whats-the-liberal-democrat-position-on-homeopathy-18300.html

External Links