OK, so it's a little late. In the end, I was too tired last night to feel up to doing this, I felt it better to wait until I'd had a good night's sleep. So here we go, the Liberal Democrats' manifesto for the upcoming general election. Now, on their webpage with links to all the manifesto documents, you're faced with a bewildering amount of links. Why? each file has a .pdf version and a Word document version, and some of the .pdf files have "reduced size" versions too. They get credit for providing for so many different computer setups, but the documents are mostly in some random order that makes no sense, making it kinda difficult to find the document you're after. A good idea, poorly implemented (makes me wonder if maybe that's a good summing-up of the lib dems as a whole). I'm using the .pdf versions because...well, because I want to.
First up is education. Typical intro, in fact at this point I'm thinking the parties all seem to use intros and fluffing-out as a way to put off potential readers more than anything. There's nothing groundbreaking, original or even particularly interesting to be found in this filler. It adds several pages to each document, and makes it harder to find the actual useful bits - the actual proposals and plans of the party. Do they not want us to know what they intend to do if they get voted in? Probably not, cos then we'd realise there isn't a huge difference between them. Anyway, so here, the Lib Dems' manifesto could almost be the conservatives. They want to scrap tuition fees and top-up fees for university students. OK it goes a little further than the Conservatives, but if the Conservatives could only do this through making some massive cuts to various areas of government, what makes the Lib Dems think they could do it without big cuts elsewhere? They talk about cutting class sizes, although the only age ranges this is mentioned for is 5-7 and 7-11 year olds. At university level, they want students to have more choice in what modules they can take during their course. I'm more skeptical about this idea than I am of the same at secondary school level. Why? each university deals with a far larger amount of students than each school. Considering that things don't go 100% smoothly as it is, I do not believe that any university would be able to adequately handle the extra hassle associated with such increase of choice for students. Not without hiring loads more admin staff, at any rate.