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Our Values

Open Speech MarksThe Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their Close Speech Markslives.

(Preamble to the Liberal Democrat constitution)

If you share these values, join the party here.

"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant." - John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor (On Liberty)

William Ewart Gladstone

William Ewart Gladstone, Liberal Prime Minister

"The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it." - John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor (On Liberty)

"Liberalism is trust in the people tempered by prudence. Toryism is distrust in the people tempered by fear." - Gladstone

"The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities" - Lord Acton

"A party of progress, a party whose desire it is to keep pace with the times and with the requirements of the nation - not seeking change for the sake of change, but for improvement." - Samuel Morley (Liberal MP for Nottingham 1865-6) on the Liberal party

"The biggest and most important challenge to the Liberal Democrats is to stop concentrations and abuses of power. We are the only major party for whom this is a prime determinant of policy, the others being driven mainly by economic analysis. That is why we do not fit the classic left-right linear spread, and prefer our own conservative-radical spectrum, on which Tories and Labour are closer to each other than either is to us." - Sarah Ludford (Liberal Democrat MEP 1999-2014)

What we believe by Alex Wilcock