Pledge to Vote for What You Believe In 1 - Claire Mathys

By Press Office
April 9, 2015

With a month to go till the General Election, we are inviting people to pledge to vote for what they believe in, according to the values outlined in our election paper. To help focus our thinking, we've invited commentators from across the political spectrum to explain how the values are integral to their electoral choices. We are publishing a selection of pledges not to endorse any one party but to demonstrate how different people have responded to our values and are pledging to vote according to their beliefs.

Our first thoughts are from Claire Mathys, Director of the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum:

I believe that the ten core values identified by Ekklesia are best met by the Liberal Democrat Party. Liberal Democrats care about giving everyone an equal chance in life, reducing the gap between rich and poor, and protecting creation. The Party's three key values in its constitution are 'liberty', 'equality' and 'community'. It believes in building strong communities in which local people are empowered to govern themselves and have a greater say in the decisions that affect their lives.

Liberal Democrats believe that each and every person has value. This means that they should be given opportunities to make something of their lives, and that they have rights that should be protected. The role of the state is to empower citizens and protect their liberty. Consequently, Liberal Democrats often stand up for the 'outsider' and support causes which are not always popular – for example, protecting the rights of refugees by ending child detention and arguing for the abolition of indefinite detention; pushing for better rehabilitation of prisoners so that they can get a job after prison and rebuild their lives; and helping people with mental health problems to get the support they need quickly.

The vision of the party is to build a stronger economy and a fairer society. It is the distinct values of the Liberal Democrats that have motivated members and activists to fight against the two party system for so many decades, and these values have been evident in government as it has steered the Coalition towards fairness and social justice. The commitment to helping the poorest people in the world, through the Lib Dem MP Michael Moore's International Development Act, the provision of free school meals for all 4-7 year olds, and the raising of the tax threshold so that low paid workers receive a £700 tax cut, have all helped to address inequality. Going forward, the party's deep emphasis on tackling climate change and creating affordable housing makes me confident that the party is driven by the right values. These are some of the reasons why pledging to vote for my beliefs means I'll be voting Liberal Democrat on 7th May.

* If you would like to pledge to vote for what you believe in, please leave a comment on our election website here or on our Facebook page or email your pledge to votebelief@gmail.com.

* More on the issues in the 2015 General Election from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/generalelection2015

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.