Monday, February 27, 2006

A missed opportunity for the Lib Dems

Good piece by Andrew Rawnsley in yesterday's Observer on the Lib Dem leadership contest and why it has been a bit of a missed opportunity for the party to thrash out some of its strategic dilemmas.

Andrew correctly makes the point that all three candidates have shied away from confronting the most difficult policy issues and instead concentrated on seeking to prove themselves the most experienced (Campbell) the most passionate (Hughes) or the cleverest (Huhne.)

I didn't really expect a lot more from Campbell or Hughes but as a supporter of Chris Huhne I thought he would be much more radical than he has been, like setting out a distinctive political direction instead of banging on about his six years in the European Parliament all the time.

I am increasingly convinced that the Lib Dems should have followed the Tories' example and had a six-month contest which would have enabled a much more searching debate to take place.

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