Is there a market for the Libertarian Party
One of the many new parties challenging in the Norwich North by-election are the Libertarian Party, and they have been in Norwich North pushing their message on the doorsteps of the constituency for the last few days, spending much time in Taverham and Drayton today. The question from my point of view is whether there is actually a market for their message.
The Libertarian Party are all about freedoms, and I can't argue with that. However they differ from the liberal view on freedoms in that they believe in a very much reduced role for government. Now that sounds like an enticing prospect, but their views go much further than simply reducing spending by 5% and axing some QUANGOs and government offices. They believe in deeper spending cuts and effectively reducing the role of the welfare state back to something unrecognisable to all of us.
The question is though whether in these hard times, with more and more unemployed and according to recent surveys, upwards of 40% of people worried about whether they will keep their jobs, people are less open to the Libertarian Party's ideas or whether the mountain of debt this country now had might focus minds more on the fact that harsh spending cuts might be forced on us anyway and, perhaps the Libertarian Party might claim to be the only ones honest enough to make clear that deep cuts are necessary.
Certainly the share the Libertarians get will be small, but I think it will be interesting to see whether their radical ideas do have a market.
Note : I have asked the Libertarian Party if they wish to post a short article to this blog explaining what they want to offer the people of Norwich North. They have indicated that they may do this if they have time. So if I have misrepresented them in any way, they have the opportunity to put me right.