In the UK, election results always seems to be portrayed as something negative, with discussion of all the bad things that could happen in the new Government's reign. This year is no exception, especially considering the slim majority held by the Conservatives. I think this is partly due to the British pre-disposition to play down good results, and partly because our Government has only been voted in by 35-40% of the electorate. This leaves the majority feeling a little upset that their side hasn't won. In the few days since the election we've seen riots and protests on the streets of London, with a war memorial giving thanks to the Women of WWII being vandalised by unhappy voters.
This is why I agree with the contrasting positive action being taken by the Liberal Democrats and their supporters, in the wake of "the parties darkest hour". Rather than being negative, and portraying a resentful and overall defeated image, they are bouncing back bigger and stronger than before.
The party is reporting a mass surge in membership, with over 9,000 members joining since Friday morning - by far the biggest membership surge the party has ever had. They are asking people to "join the fightback" and urging people that now more than ever "Britain needs a liberal voice in politics". I feel that this reaction to their crushing defeat is inspiring. It's positive, it's making an immediate impact and most importantly, it will have a much larger impact in the coming days, months and years. They now have more activists to rally for them, which is far more helpful than a few days protesting outside Downing Street.
After Friday the Lib Dems could have gone one of two ways. The remaining party faithful could have easily joined the hoards of disillusioned voters and moved towards either the left or the right . Instead, they have seen a new lease of life, with Tweets and Facebook posts filled with positive messages, and swarms of new supporters wanting to get out and spread the liberal message.
I believe the other smaller parties should copy this idea too. If all those who felt disheartened and underrepresented with the results, became politically active and joined their appropriate local party, imagine the potentially politically engaged society we could live in. With over 24% of the electorate currently represented by just 10 MPs in Westminster (less than 2%) it's about time we all started fighting for our political beliefs in a positive and active way.
This blog first appeared as a guest post on Not So Red Ed.