This is more of the meaning it still has in Europe, and to a certain extent, in
Canada, although Canada, as in so many things, is halfway between. It has more of
the US meaning here in Alberta, but it has the European meaning more in Ontario,
where I lived for 14 years on two different occasions. The Liberal Democrats in
the UK are a centrist, pro-entrepreneurial party, believe it or not (they're the
3rd party after Labour and the Conservatives). They're popular in exurban areas
and in high-tech areas like Berkshire, for instance, and their MPs tend to be
younger as a rule.  In Germany das Freie Demokratische Partei (Free Democratic
Party) is also called "die Liberalen" (see the fine print in their logo at the
top of their webpage, where it
says "FDP -- die Liberalen"; kind of like "LDS -- the Mormons", I guess). They
are a fairly small party, but usually form part of the ruling coalition, either
with the left-of-centre SDP or the right-of-centre CDU/CSU. (Schröder is SDP but
the SDP won with about the same margin the Republicans did in the US, in the
German federal elections about a month ago). For the past decade they've been
frozen out as the SDP has gone with the Greens (left-wing) instead, in the
so-called Rot-Grün Koalition (Red Green, now in syndication on cable in the US).
The FDP is like the CDU/CSU but without the latter's conservative social agenda,
so perhaps more like Libertarians than Republicans.

I don't know Belgian politics as well, but I understand they have a Liberal Party
as well.

Steven Montgomery wrote:

> At 08:25 PM 10/23/2002, you wrote:
> >Unfortunately, it is what Liberal now means in the US.
> >
> >It used to be that liberal was one that sought to help the underdog with
> >smart assistance from government, while ensuring the freedoms of the
> >average joe. But the term "liberal" has been co-opted by fringe groups in
> >the US. Gore is a perfect example of what liberal now means in the US:
> >follows the extreme environmental tactics, reproductive rights, and the
> >"rights" of perverse groups.
> Actually our founding fathers (U.S.) were perfect examples of the classical
> liberal. Etymology wise the word has roots in the more meaningful term,
> liberty.
> Constitutionalism. I want to be known as a constitutionalist in the
> tradition of James Madison-father of the Constitution. Labels change and
> perhaps in the old tradition I would be considered one of the original
> Whigs. The new title I would wear today is that of conservative-though in
> its original British connotation the term liberal fits me better than the
> original meaning of the word conservative.
> To show how labels can change or be stolen, a liberal today believes in
> greater government intervention and less personal freedom for the people,
> which is practically the opposite of what the old liberals believed years
> ago. (The Red Carpet, pp. 206-7.)
>   (Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [Salt Lake City:
> Bookcraft, 1988], 690.)
> --
> Steven Montgomery
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“We do not think that there is an incompatibility between words and deeds; the
worst thing is to rush into action before the consequences have been properly
debated…To think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was
a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly
character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was
totally unfitted for action.” – Pericles about his fellow-Athenians, as quoted by
Thucydides in “The Peloponessian Wars”

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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