ENG: The Liberal Democrats, often shortened to Lib Dems, are a centrist to centre-left social liberal political party in the United Kingdom. The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party. The two parties had formed the electoral SDP–Liberal Alliance for seven years before then. The current leader of the party is Nick Clegg. At the 2010 general election, 57 Lib Dem MPs were elected, making them the third-largest party in the House of Commons, behind the Conservative Party with 306 and the Labour Party with 258. The Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party, with Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister and other Liberal Democrats in the cabinet.
Promoting social liberalism, the Liberal Democrats voice strong support for constitutional reform, electoral reform, civil liberties and rights, and higher taxes for public services.
The party president's book of office is John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, which defended individual rights while attacking the tyranny of the majority and the despotism of custom. The party objects to state limitations on individual rights and favours a welfare state that provides for the necessities and amenities of life. They support multilateral foreign policy, opposing British participation in the War in Iraq and supporting the withdrawal of troops from the country. The Liberal Democrats are the most pro-European Union of the three main parties in the UK. The party has strong environmentalist values—favouring renewable energy and commitments to deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Since their foundation, Lib Dems have advocated electoral reform to use proportional representation in electing the House of Commons, also hoping to replace the House of Lords with an elected chamber.
Leader: Nick Clegg
President: Baroness Scott of Needham Market
Founded: 3 March 1988
<. trong>Ideology: Liberalism; Internal factions: Social liberalism, Social democracy, Market liberalism
June 3, 2010