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Third Force PoliticsLiberal Democrats at the Grassroots$
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Paul Whiteley, Patrick Seyd, and Antony Billinghurst

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242825

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199242828.001.0001

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Ideology and the Party Members

Ideology and the Party Members

(p.48) 3 Ideology and the Party Members
Third Force Politics

Paul Whiteley (Contributor Webpage)

Patrick Seyd (Contributor Webpage)

Antony Billinghurst

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by examining if there is evidence that a set of belief structures underlies the attitudes of party members. This is followed by an analysis of the sources of ideological variations in the grassroots party, paying particular attention to the social characteristics of members, as well as their political experiences and political roots. It is shown that there is a distinctive set of principles underlying Liberal Democrat political ideology. The ideology centres around individual freedom and tolerance in relation to lifestyle issues, a belief in redistribution and social equality, a commitment to free markets and a positive attitude to internationalism, as exemplified by members’ views of the European Union (EU).

Keywords:   Liberal Democrat Party, ideology, party members, Liberal Democrat, attitudes

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