by Stephen Tall on January 1, 2014
Today’s the day we launch our search for the Liberal Voice of the Year to find the individual or group which has had the biggest impact on liberalism in the past 12 months. This is the seventh 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 14 nominees appears below. These were sought from Lib Dem members via our most recent survey; some 250 nominations were submitted, and each of those short-listed needed to clear a threshold of four separate mentions.
To vote, please use the poll below to rank the nominees in order of preference.
This year’s shortlist for Liberal Voice of the Year is as follows
(in alphabetical first-name order):
Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, for publishing intelligence files leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden. (Wikipedia entry here.)
Birgitte Nyborg from Borgen, first (fictional) female Prime Minister of Denmark, and a principled but pragmatic liberal who wins elections. (Wikipedia entry for Borgen here.)
Caroline Criado-Perez, journalist and activist, for her successful campaign to ensure women are represented on British banknotes. (Wikipedia entry here.)
Coalition for Equal Marriage
Coalition for Equal Marriage, a campaign group created in 2012 by Conor Marron and James Lattimore, to champion the same-sex marriage legislation passed this year. (Wikipedia entry here.)
Don’t Judge My Family
Don’t Judge My Family for its campaign against the Conservative Party’s tax breaks for married couples. (Read about the campaign here.)
Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, who disclosed intelligence files to the media. (Wikiedia entry here.)
Jo Shaw, former Lib Dem member, who resigned from the party in protest at its parliamentarians’ support for the extension of ‘secret courts’. (Read about the campaign against secret courts here.)
José Mujica, President of Uruguay, for his government’s move to legalize state-controlled sales of marijuana in order to fight drug-related crimes and health issues. (Wikipedia entry here.)
Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary Leader for South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance (DA), the youngest, black woman leader in the caucus’s history, who has campaigned (among other things) against state censorship. (Wikipedia entry here.)
Malala Yousafzai for her campaign against the Taliban’s ban on girls from attending school and for her speech this year at the UN calling for worldwide access to education.
Nelson Mandela, first black President of South Africa, in recognition of his commitment to equality, justice and democracy. (Wikipedia entry here.)
Pope Francis for saying the Roman Catholic church should prioritise the Christian obligation to assist the poor and the needy over condemning abortion, contraception, and homosexual acts. (Wikipedia entry here.)
Pussy Riot, a Russian feminist punk rock protest group, known for their feminist campaigns, promotion of LGBT rights, and opposition to the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin – for which they were imprisoned. (Wikipedia entry here.)
Tom Daley, Olympic medal-winning swimmer, for his personal openness and honesty in announcing he is currently very happy in a relationship with a man.
To vote, please use the poll below to rank your candidates in order of preference. 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: this poll may not work on mobiles/tablets. And please don’t click on ‘Vote’ til you’ve checked the nominees are in your chosen order!)
Previous winners of the our Liberal Voice of the Year award:
2013: Sam Bowman, campaigner for free market social justice
2012: Mark Littlewood, campaigner for de-regulated markets.
2011: Aung San Suu Kyi, campaigner against political abuse in Burma.
2010: Peter Tatchell, international human rights campaigner.
2009: Campaigners on behalf of Jean Charles de Menezes (Justice4Jean.org) and Stockwell Shooting Inquest Jury.
2008: Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty.
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.