The LDs and the Right of Recall
The Lib Dem Manifesto just five short months ago when they were, or falsely marketed themselves as (in seats where they sought to compete with or squeeze Labour), a party of the centre-left proposed a right of recall for MPs found responsible of serious wrongdoing.
More useful would be a right of recall when you feel you have been conned into voting for a party that then does the opposite in government to the principles and policies it proclaimed in an election.
If that right existed then students who voted Lib Dem because of them all signing the NUS pledge on tuition fees might be queuing up today to recall the MPs for university seats gained from Labour in 2005 and held in 2010. I note that some of the individual MPs concerned propose to do the right thing and rebel but that does not nullify the fact that the policy will go through only because they agreed to go into government with the Tories. This sort of policy would not command a majority in the House of Commons if there was a minority Tory government rather than a Coalition. A Lib Dem Secretary of State, who signed the NUS pledge himself, has conciously chosen to announce the new policy rather than make it a red line within the Coalition.
What makes this 360 degree policy flip most reprehensible is that the voters taken for a ride were overwhelmingly first-time voters fired-up on idealism. Turning them into jaded cynics who cannot believe a word a politician says is a disservice to democracy and political engagement as well as a con-trick of epic proportions.
Is this the political path SDP defectors like Vince Cable and Chris Huhne saw themselves setting out on when they quit the Labour Party?