LDV Awards 2008: Liberal Voice and Defining Moment of the Year

by Stephen Tall on January 2, 2009

Many thanks to the 200+ LDV readers who took part in our end-of-year awards, which ran between 24th and 28th December. Voting was conducted via Liberty Research using the alternative vote method of ranking the nominees for each of the eight categories.

In the first two days, we revealed the winners of Lib Dem Politician of the Year, and By-election Performance of the Year; and Lib Dem Campaigner of the Year, and Most Desperate Press Release of the Year.

Yesterday, we turned our attention to the first two non-Lib Dem categories – Political Journalist/Broadcaster of the Year and Political Programme of the Year; and today we name our Defining Moment of the Year, and the name of the coveted (well, maybe) non-Lib Dem Liberal Voice of the Year…

Defining Political Moment of the Year

There was no doubt in LDV readers’ minds what was the defining moment of the year – the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the USA. A whopping four-fifths of you chose it, against 14% opting for the near-collapse of the west’s world banking system; the other three contenders were also-rans.

1% – Alistair Darling’s Pre-Budget Report;
3% – Gordon Brown for his “we not only saved the world…” gaffe;
1% – Hazel Blears’ launch of the Sustainable Communities Act;
14% – The collapse and subsequent nationalisation/recapitalisation of the banks in the USA and UK;
81% – The election of Barack Obama as President of the USA.

Liberal Voice of the Year

This category – last year won by Shami Chakrabati of Liberty – was much more closely contested:

3% – Boris Johnson – for his writings for The Daily Telegraph, and his work as Mayor of London;
27% – Campaigners on behalf of Jean Charles de Menezes (Justice4Jean.org) and Stockwell Shooting Inquest Jury;
14% – Daily Kos and Huffington Post – for their coverage of the 2008 US presidential elections;
5% – David Davis MP – for his campaign on behalf of 42 days;
8% – Ian Hislop – for his work as editor of Private Eye and appearances on Have I Got News For You;
14% – Joanna Lumley – for her campaigning on behalf of the Gurkhas;
4% – Joseph Stiglitz – for his prescient critiques of the management of globalization, and “free market fundamentalists”;
2% – Margo Macdonald MSP – for her campaign to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland;
23% – The Atheist Bus Campaign (Ariane Sherine) – for launching the first ever atheist advertising campaign in the UK.

Following the elimination of (in order) Margo Macdonald, Boris Johnson, Joseph Stiglitz, David Davis, Ian Hislop, Daily Kos and Huffington Post, and Joanna Lumley, and the redistribution of their votes, it came down to a run-off as follows:

>> 60% – Campaigners on behalf of Jean Charles de Menezes (Justice4Jean.org) and Stockwell Shooting Inquest Jury;

>> 40% – The Atheist Bus Campaign (Ariane Sherine) – for launching the first ever atheist advertising campaign in the UK.

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I have a serious problem with ‘defining’ moments category.

In my book ‘defining’ contrasts with ‘change’, so most of the options in this category can’t be accepted.

The symbolic event which defined the year for me was the Great Sichuan Earthquake. 70,000 dead, massive government incompetence exposed and divisions of gulf-like proportions among the population barely concealed.

Equally the earthquake symbolises the destruction in the global financial system, with it’s epicentre to be found in the hollowed out temples to mammon built to host the Beijing Olympic.

Next year please can we have a ‘liberating’ moment of the year to vote for, as this is more seemly for the election of Obama.

Defining moment=bad
Liberating moment=good

OK?

by Oranjepan on January 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm. Reply #

A very illuminating vote. 14% for a global disaster: 81% for the election of an able US President who might, or might not, find the way toward recovery from that disaster.

Are we sensible optimists – or deluded over-optimists?

by David Allen on January 4, 2009 at 9:54 pm. Reply #

David,
perhaps it just indicates the power of the media to focus attention on events rather than processes.

by Oranjepan on January 4, 2009 at 10:11 pm. Reply #

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