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Monday, May 30, 2005


It's that tax again

I had assumed that the Liberal Democrats' internal dispute about the rights and wrongs of local income tax had been settled, at least for now.

Then last Friday I received an e-mail from the

ALDC in conjunction with the Lib Dem group on the LGA has produced an online questionnaire on Local Income Tax. The main purpose of this survey is to find out from the campaigners, councillors and candidates who were involved in elections on 5th May, to what degree the issue of LIT impacted on your campaign.

This survey, which takes the form of an online questionnaire is very user-friendly. It takes no more than 5 minutes (really!) and the data is then fed back to the website from where the LGA and ALDC can analyse the results.
Assuming enough people reply, the party should acquire some interesting data on what issues were actually raised by voters and how various policies played, instead of rumour and myth. But there is a risk that such data could be used to formulate a purely populist strategy unless someone has the wit to place this knowledge at the service of Liberalism.

The party's main handicap is that it lacks a clear and compelling narrative in which to locate its policies. If it had a more explicit moral core and a coherent philosophy, it would be easier for voters to grasp what the party stands for. So long as the Liberal Democrats fail to do this, their policies will look like beads without string.

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