The two-party system is dead

Charles Kennedy is the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the third force in British politics. In the upcoming general election, the party is poised to overtake the Tories as the alternative government. It’s been a remarkable rise and in today’s Guardian Kennedy explains the rationale behind their philosophy and the moral and political bankruptcy of Tony Blair’s Labor party and Michael Howard’s Tories.

In Australia, our media elite is determined to maintain the status quo, ensuring a pale version of democracy occurs every three years. During last year’s Federal Election campaign, the Murdoch press conducted a fairly successfully deception against the Greens. Those with vested corporate interests and close ties to John Howard’s Liberals or the Labor party simply could not allow a third-force to challenge. When our undemocratic political parties accept massive financial contributions from the business community, compromise and corruption is inevitable. The Aussie Greens recently launched this wonderful website, Democracy4Sale, detailing the ways in which our political elites are bought off annually.

But back to Kennedy: “At this election, I will make the case for a Britain that is governed as a progressive, outward looking, environmentally friendly society. I favour multiculturalism and our traditions of tolerance and inclusiveness. I will continue to talk positively about sensible immigration and asylum policies, and I shall keep a wary liberal eye on issues of civil liberty where the executive seeks to undermine hard won rights.” The Liberal Democrats were also fiercely against the Iraq war.

Long-time anti-war and human rights activist, Tariq Ali, recently wrote that “for one day only” he would be a Liberal Democrat, because it was the only major party that had consistently fought the Iraq war and Blair’s attacks on civil liberties.

In most Western democracies, we’re constantly told that it’s a choice between a bloke with ties to big business and another bloke, with ties to even bigger business. The Liberal Democrats prove that there is a third-way.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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