OPINION: Why I’m voting Lib Dem
I’ll be voting to stop Brexit, to tackle the climate emergency and to take mental health seriously
It's hard to believe that only a few years ago people were complaining that all political parties looked the same. Now our country faces a terrifying choice between two parties dragged to the extremes.
The Conservatives have been consumed by the issue of Brexit and dragged rightwards, abandoning the principles of sound economics and law and order that used to be their hallmarks.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn and the loony left have finished their takeover of the Labour party, all moderates have been driven out and the party's anti-Semitism has been left to fester unchallenged.
Faced with these options I believe it is not just preferable, but my duty to vote for something better and that is what the Lib Dems provide
They have time and time again put the country first and made the tough decisions. Going into coalition to secure Britain's economy at a time of national crisis, standing for a second referendum when everyone thought it was a pipe dream and now making electoral pacts to prevent another damaging Tory government (unlike Labour!).
They have made some mistakes, all parties have, but they have consistently pushed for the liberal, environmental, pro-European values that our generation stand for.
A Lib Dem government would cancel Brexit on day one, something that no other party has the conviction to do
And, if they don't form a majority (as seems likely) then they will be the strongest possible voice for a People's Vote to whomever ends up as prime minister.
This is especially important as a hung parliament looms! The Tories want to deliver Brexit, Labour still haven’t made up their mind whether to back remain, but the Lib Dems are clear that a vote for them is a vote to stop Brexit.
The environment is FINALLY getting taken seriously as an electoral issue by the two main parties. What you might not realise is that it always has been for the Lib Dems, and they have a record of actually making change, nearly quadrupling renewable energy production in five years.
Now, they are pledging to re-establish a department of climate change and invest £100billion in to making our country a world leader in sustainability. They have done it before and they can do it again.
The final and possibly most important issue that makes me a Lib Dem is mental health
Sir Norman Lamb, a Lib Dem MP who is standing down at this election, has done more for mental health in our country than possibly anyone else.
He implemented the first ever waiting time limits for mental health and has come to Bristol advocating for suicide prevention policies that could make a real difference.
He's a personal hero of mine and has been instrumental in giving the Lib Dems the strongest mental health policies around, with £11billion exclusively pledged for mental health services at this election. The overall aim, to give mental health the same importance as physical health.
So, given the Lib Dems won't be standing in Bristol West as part of the unite to remain alliance, I will be voting in my home seat of South Northamptonshire to unseat arch-Brexiter Andrea Leadsom.
I'll be voting to stop Brexit, to tackle the climate emergency and to take mental health seriously. With the Lib Dems we can build a brighter future.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Bristol Tab.