I think that in the last general election Liberal Democrats were too scared to be liberal. I dont think they should make the same mistake again.
If we abandon core principles such as internationalism and liberalism, then all we come across as to the average voter is another centrist party. there is no point in voting for that.
Firstly, you change the public debate by making a sensible practical liberal argument. On immigration, for example, the whole debate over the last ten years has been framed through xenophobic lens with very few people prepared to balance the debate. As a result its now very difficult to sell a liberal immigration policy. The only way you can change that is by standing up and having a debate.
The second point is that those policies that are unpopular in the last election we avoided talking about and after the first debate the other parties focused the debate solely on those policies in their terms. If we had explained those policies first it would have been more difficult for them to do that. That is not to say that we ignore our popular policies, just that we need to frame the debate so that we win votes and also start to shift public opinion so that we can push liberal ideas further into the public consciousness which will assist us in the future and create a more liberal country, which is what we want (is it not?)
So we have two choices:
First choice: hide and let them frame an argument, lose the debate and lose our distinctive appeal or
Second: frame the argument as we want it argued and try and change minds.
Join the discussion on the matter on http://act.libdems.org.uk/group/liberalisminliberaldemocrats