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Liberal Democrats

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Introduction

Liberal Democrats History: Formed on the 6th of June 1859, when Whigs, Peelites and Radicals met at Willis's Rooms in St. James Street, London, to unite in opposition to the Conservatives. They governed Britain for the next 60 years, with Asquith, Gladstone and Lloyd George dominating the era. The strains of the First World War left the party in disarray. In 1957 there were only 5 MP's and just 110 constituencies had been contested by the party at the previous general election. In 1958, the Liberals won their first by-election for over 30 years, at Torrington in Devon. In 1988 the Liberal Democrats were formed. The liberal party formally merged with the Social Democrats. They were first known as the Social Liberal Democrats (SLA), but then changed to Liberal Democrats. Since the merger in 1988, The Liberal Democrats have regularly scored 20% of the vote in local elections and higher in council by-elections. After Labour was elected in 1997, Senior Liberal Democrats have been invited to sit in on Labour cabinet meetings. Organisation: The Liberal Democrats are a federal structure. ...read more.

Middle

The 'gallant six hundred' was the first of a growing flood of supporters for the party. After World War II, the presidency of Gwynfor Evans proved a catalyst to the Party's development. In the General Election of 1950 Plaid Cymru fielded seven candidates, by 1964 this had grown to 23. Today Plaid contests every single seat for the European Parliament, Westminster, and the National Assembly along with an ever-increasing number of local council seats. On the 14th July 1966 a by-election was held in Carmarthen. Its victor was Gwynfor Evans, President of Plaid Cymru. Another important milestone had been reached. Wales now had its first independent voice at Westminster, an MP whose only concern would be to fight for the best deal for Wales and its entire people. Membership of the Party grew rapidly during the late 1960s. Constituency organisations were formed in many new areas, and Plaid came within a whisker of breaking the Labour stranglehold in two key valley by-elections at Rhondda West in 1967 and Caerffili in 1968. In 1970, the party contested all seats in Wales for the first time and polled over 175,000 votes in total. ...read more.

Conclusion

At national level the party structure includes: * The Annual Conference - which decides policies and changes in the party's Constitution * The National Council - which frames policies between conferences, approves election manifestos, and amends Standing Orders. This body is made up mainly of rhanbarth and branches delegates, * The National Executive Committee - which controls party management and finance, and guides policy formation and strategy. It has around 25 members * Sections for women, young members, students, trade unionists and local councillors, all of which play a significant role in the national work of the party. Policy: 1. To promote the constitutional advancement of Wales with a view to attaining Full National Status for Wales within the European Union. 2. To ensure economic prosperity, social justice and the health of the natural environment, based on decentralist socialism. 3. To build a national community based on equal citizenship, respect for different traditions and cultures and the equal worth of all individuals, whatever their race, nationality, gender, colour, creed, sexuality, age, ability or social background. 4. To create a bilingual society by promoting the revival of the Welsh language. 5. To promote Wales's contribution to the global community and to attain membership of the United Nations. ...read more.

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