What is the Ideological Difference Between the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party?

I am an American, so I don't usually pay attention to british politics. However, I have been hearing quite a lot about this upcoming parliamentary election, over the last few days, and one thing i have been curious about is what is the difference between the liberal democrats and the Labour party? They are both supposed to be left of center. Why are they two different parties? It seems like they would just become one group but since they haven't, I am wondering, what is the ideological difference? Why does the UK need two major left of center parties?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well I'll answer this properly then shall I?

    Hi, Im a Liberal Democrat member and i campaign against the Labour Party. Traditionally Labour were a socialist party, funded by the trade unions (they still are TU funded) and stood up for the workers. However under Blair the party shifted to the right so they hover arond the centre now. They believe in more state funded programmes, heightened surveillance and pro-immigration.

    The Liberal Democrats are slightly centre of left. They believe in a free market but also the need for welfare state that is open to everyone, they are pro-EU, anti-Nuclear power, stand up for peoples freedoms and oppose the new 'nanny state' in the UK that emerged following 9/11, civillibertiess to be protected and support electoral and constitutional reform. They would lke a written constitution like yours.

    They both clash over issues like Trident Nuclear weapons; Labour want to replace them, Lib Dem want a cheaper alternative. Nanny state; labour have continued to introduce laws that are in breach of the human rights act, Lib Dem want these rights to be restored and to be set out in a rigid constitution. Immigration; even though both agree their should be no cap on immigration, Labour say the currant plan is working, Lib Dems want to start a fresh by offering existingillegals out of the shadow to pay tax and work and support a regional work permit based immigraton system.

    They agree on the economy, both agree a tax should be put on bank profits and that money should not be removed from the economy straight away.

    They are not one party because the Lib Dems were formed properly in the 80's when a group of social democrats left the labour party to join the Liberal Party. This eventually became the Liberal Democrat Party. The UK has more than just two centre left parties! But the need of these two is that although they share aspects of economic ideology they are different in that the Labour Party is alot more authoritarian were as the Lib Dems are alot more Libertarian.

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  • byrnes
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    British Liberal Democratic Party

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Lib Dems, wants to get rid off the UK's nukes, let all illegal immagrants live here after 10 years. Labour want to give out benifits, so tax paying people feed ad pay for asylum seekers , and people who can't or won't work. ethier way the british people don't trust them, hate them and make htem feel disguted as all mps do

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  • 1 decade ago

    They are both pro-illegal asylum seekers. New Labour are 'Champagne Socialists'.

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