by Stephen Tall on January 1, 2011
Earlier this week, in the dying days of the last decade, we launched our search for the Liberal Voice of 2010, to find the individual or group which has had the biggest impact on liberalism in the past 12 months. And as is our tradition, we’re looking beyond the ranks of the Lib Dems to find the greatest liberal who’s not a member of our party.
Our thanks to all who put forward nominations — here is the short-list of 12 (in alphabetical order):
- Bob Ainsworth, former Labour secretary of state for defence, for his controversial public call for the legalisation and regulation of all drugs;
- Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, for exposing state secrets to the full glare of publicity;
- The Australian Democrats for continuing to campaign for social liberalism;
- David Cameron, Conservative Party leader, for his commitment to forming the Liberal-Conservative Coalition Government;
- Ken Clarke, Conservative secretary of state for justice, for his humane approach to prisons policy;
- Naomi Long, deputy leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and MP for Belfast East, for becoming the first liberal to be elected to Westminster from her part of the UK since 1914;
- Bradley Manning, a US Army soldier charged in July 2010 with the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, for his single-minded belief in full disclosure;
- President Barack Obama for pushing through a reforming agenda, especially on healthcare, against fierce opposition;
- Aung San Suu Kyi, chief Burmese opposition politician, who spent 15 of the 21 years under house arrest until her release in November;
- Binayak Sen, an Indian public health specialist and human rights activist, found guilty of sedition and considered by Amnesty International to be a prisoner of conscience;
- Andrew Wilkie, an Australian politician and independent federal member, for his campaigner on civil and human rights, the environment, euthanasia, gay marriage, and withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan; and
- Liu Xiaobo, a writer and and human rights activist, who’s a political prisoner in the People’s Republic of China, for calling for political reforms and the end of communist one-party rule in China.
To vote, please use the poll on the right-hand side of the page. And please feel free to use the comments thread to debate the relative merits of the short-listed Liberal Voice of the Year candidates …
Previous winners of the LDV Liberal Voice of the Year award:
2009: Peter Tatchell, international human rights campaigner.
2008: Campaigners on behalf of Jean Charles de Menezes (Justice4Jean.org) and Stockwell Shooting Inquest Jury.
2007: Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty.