Liberal loss

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Opinion polls are suggesting that the Scottish Liberal Democrats may pay a heavy price for joining the coalition with the Conservatives.

Although if, like me, you are unhappy with some of the coalition policies which the Liberal Democrats have supported, there are compelling reasons for liberally minded voters to continue to vote Liberal Democrat.

The Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrats have been through difficult times in the past but have always come through by sticking to the underlying liberal values of controlling executive power, defending the rights of the underprivileged and respecting diversity.

It is vital for our country that this should continue.

Until the referendum the SNP ran a reasonably competent Scottish Government and quite a few of their policies could be supported by Liberal Democrats.

Despite this, it is an unfortunate truth that they have shown a dangerous authoritarian streak which must concern all former Liberal Democrat voters who are considering switching to the SNP.

The gagging of their MSPs is a recent example, but of course there are many others including the centralised police force, the creation of an ID database and the abolition of corroboration.

It is undoubtedly true that the first-past-the-post voting system, and the fear of a wasted vote in some constituencies, will discourage people from voting for the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

This, however, does not hold true in constituencies already held by the party and will allow former supporters and other liberally minded voters to influence the outcome of the general election on 7 May.

(Dr) Charles Corser

Friars Way

Linlithgow