NEW POLL: Who is your Liberal Voice of the Year?

by Stephen Tall on January 1, 2012

Today’s the day we launch our search for the Liberal Voice of 2011 to find the individual or group which has had the biggest impact on liberalism in the past 12 months. This is the fifth annual award, 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.

The list of nine nominees appears below. These were sought from Lib Dem members via our most recent survey; 233 nominations were submitted, and each of those short-listed needed to clear a threshold of five.

To vote, please use the poll on the right-hand side of the page.

This year’s shortlist for Liberal Voice of the Year is as follows

(in alphabetical order):

Mohamed Bouazizi

Mohamed Bouazizi was a 26 year-old Tunisian who set himself on fire in protest at police and government abuse, and died in January 2011. His act of suicide led to protests that triggered the overthrow of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, and to the Arab Spring.

Kenneth Clarke

Ken Clarke, Justice Minister in the Coalition Government, is a Tory MP frequently referred to as the sixth Lib Dem cabinet minister for his committed belief to prison rehabilitation and due legal process.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State, has helped lead the US response to the Arab uprising, and been a consistent and vocal advocate for the empowerment and welfare of women and girls worldwide.

Nick Davies and The Guardian

Nick Davies is an investigative journalist for The Guardian whose dogged pursuit of the British press’s illegal activities, including phone-hacking, sparked the closure of the News of the World and the Leveson Inquiry into media standards.

Hugh Grant and the Hacked Off campaign

The combination of Hugh Grant and the Hacked Off group are vigorously campaigning for a cleaned-up British press and improved media standards.

Mark Littlewood

Mark Littlewood, a former head of media for the Lib Dems, campaigns for market reforms in his non-partisan role as Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama, US President, brought home all troops from Iraq in October, took a leading role in the overthrow of Gaddafi’s Libyan government, and ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden.

The Occupy Movement

The Occupy Movement, an international protest group primarily directed against economic and social inequality, currently lists 2,562 Occupy communities worldwide.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese political activist who has openly challenged the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights.

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 …

NB: we have looked at options for running the poll using preferential voting rather than first-past-the-post. However, those which we have looked at have significant issues (eg, limited number of voters, no blocking to prevent repeat voting). We’ll continue to look for ways to enable a fairer voting system for Voice polls.

Previous winners of the LDV Liberal Voice of the Year award:

2010: Aung San Suu Kyi, campaigner against political abuse in Burma.

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.