Yesterday, on Liberal Democrat Voice, the result of small poll of members (200) was slightly in favour of dropping their pledge to give a referendum on EU membership.
It would seem this is at variance with the views of their candidates who have replied to the question posed by the Albion Alliance on their candidate database website. Of 370 Liberal Democrat candidates contacted, only 26 had the courtesy to respond and of those only 3 categorically pledged to put party before country and actively promote/support a Bill calling for a referendum. Of the remaining 23, 4 refused to reply, citing Parliamentary Privilege with the remainder all stating that a referendum should be held with the caveat that they believed in EU membership.
It should also be remembered that when Douglas Carswell submitted his Private Members Bill calling for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU, amongst his supporters signing his Bill, were Dr. Evan Davies, MP for Oxford West & Abingdon and Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South.
This shows that the Liberal Democrat Party really cannot make up their mind what they do believe in, and more importantly, there are only 5 Liberal Democrat candidates standing in the next general election that truly believe in a basic tenet of democracy - that the electorate should decide on the question of who should govern our country.
As a matter of interest the following email has been forwarded to Nick Clegg, via his own website:
"Having looked at your personal website - http://www.nickclegg.com/# - and then the policy paper
http://libdems.org.uk/siteFiles/resourcePDF/Policy%20Briefing%20-%20Europe%20Oct%2009.pdf – it is unclear exactly what the Liberal Democrat view on a referendum is, actually. To the best of my knowledge the last stated position is that your party would support a referendum on the single question of 'in or out'.
The Albion Alliance - http://albionalliance.org.uk/ - have e-mailed every declared candidate, of all parties, where contact details are known, asking if they would promote/support a Bill calling for such a referendum. Regrettably, of the 370 Liberal Democrat candidates contacted, only 26 have had the courtesy to reply and of those 3 have actually signed the requested Albion Alliance pledge, plus 2 of your present MPs – Dr Evan Harris and Mike Hancock - have signed, as supporters, Douglas Carswell's Private Members Bill calling for a referendum.
Whilst not a constituent of yours - I live in Witney - even your own candidate, Dawn Barnes, has failed to respond to an e-mail from me asking her views. In view of this failure by my local Liberal Democrat candidate to respond to one of her potential constituents, I trust you will not invoke Parliamentary Privilege and decline to respond to me also. In any event, I do believe that as Leader of your Party you have an obligation to respond to any registered voter on a question which affects Britain as a whole. I would also be grateful for your views on whether or not a basic question of who governs our country should not be put to the electorate, rather than decided by political parties, none of which will discuss the question with those whose views they are supposed to represent.
I look forward to hearing from you in due course."
I am not holding my breath regarding an answer!