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经济学人:自由民主党 他们必胜

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The Liberal Democrats

自由民主党
They shall overcome
他们必胜
Facing electoral meltdown, why are the Lib Dems so cheerful?
面对选举危机,自由民主党为何如此兴高采烈?
THE Liberal Democrats have every reason to be miserable. Some recent polls of voting intention have put them on 6%, about a quarter of their support at the last election. The party has haemorrhaged voters to the Labour Party, as well as to its coalition partners the Conservatives, to the Green Party and even the right-wing UK Independence Party. Its backbone—local councillors—has crumbled. It is conceivable that the party will lose two-thirds of its 56 parliamentary seats at the general election, due to take place next May.
自由民主党有充分的理由悲天悯人。最近选民意向的投票显示自由民主党仅获得了6%的支持率,这是上次他们选举支持率的四分之一。该党的选民已流失到工党、同盟友党保守党、绿党甚至右翼的英国独立党手中。它的主心骨—地方议员—已支离破碎。可想而知,该党很可能将会在明年五月举行的大选中失去56个议会席位的三分之二。
Yet at the party's autumn conference in Glasgow, which ended on October 8th, the mood was upbeat. Activists acknowledged the difficulties, but declared themselves game for the battle ahead. Hardly anyone criticised Nick Clegg, the party's leader since 2007 and deputy prime minister since 2010. Even Jeremy Browne, a former minister on the party's libertarian wing who is one of the most vocal malcontents, limited himself to anodyne grumbles about the party's lack of definition (and an apparent gibe at Mr Clegg's reluctance to be seen smoking in public).
然而10月8号在格拉斯哥落幕的秋季会议上,自由民主党人的心情却是大好。活动家们认识到了种种困难,但宣称自己愿为接下来的战斗而奋发图强。几乎没有人责怪尼克·克莱格,他自2007年开始担任该党领袖,2010年开始担任副首相。即使是该党派的杰米里·布朗—这位直言不讳的自由主义派前大臣,也只是不痛不痒地抱怨该党缺乏明确的定位(并明显嘲笑克莱格不愿被发现在公共场合吸烟这一行为)。
Why are the Lib Dems so calm? Any other major British party, facing half the rout that they will suffer next year, would be in meltdown. Circumstances are one explanation. Many unhappy members have left. Others are still buoyed by the thrill of being in government. “There is a sense that we matter,” gushed one conference delegate before hurrying off to a speaking engagement. It was plain to see: security scanners guarded the conference entrances, television crews prowled the corridors looking for interviewees, foreign diplomats sought panellists' opinions at fringe events. After decades on the margins, Lib Dems still find this new and exciting.
为什么自由民主党人能如此冷静呢?任何英国的主要政党,即便只会面对该党派明年五月将受到的一半打击,也会一蹶不振。政治大环境是一种解释。很多不满的党员离开了。另外的人仍因能呆在政府的兴奋而干劲十足。一位急急忙忙要赶去一个演讲的参会嘉宾匆忙地说:“我们感觉到自己是有点分量的。”这很显然易见:安全扫描器保卫着会议入口,电视报道组在走廊徘徊寻找被采访者,国外外交官在边缘话题上寻求着组委的意见。在边缘呆了几十年后,自由民主党人仍认为这很新奇且令人激动。
And activists know it may not go away. It was helpful that the Conservatives and Labour spent their party conferences appealing to their traditional voters, argues Olly Grender, an influential Lib Dem peer. If neither party breaks out of its electoral strongholds, another hung parliament may beckon—and with it, another five years in which the Lib Dems, however diminished, could be kingmakers.
活动家们知道这种境况可能不会消失。一个有影响力的自由民主党人欧利·格兰德说,保守党和工党利用党会来吸引传统的选民是件好事。如果两党都不超出自己的选举据点,另一个无多数议会就可能出现—这样一来,在另一个五年内无论自由民主党衰落到什么程度,都有拥立首相的可能。

That prospect helps keep Mr Clegg's rivals from whipping up activists' gripes into something more dangerous. Tim Farron, the darling of the left-leaning grass roots, is biding his time. Chris Huhne resigned as energy secretary in 2012 and later served a prison sentence for perverting the course of justice. Vince Cable, the business secretary, was linked to a couple of botched coup attempts but appears to have lost interest in the top job. At least until the election, Mr Clegg seems safe.

这种前景避免了克莱格的对手们煽风点火将活动家们的抱怨说成更危险的事。左翼草根的宠儿蒂姆·法伦正在等待时机。克里斯·休恩于2012年辞去了能源大臣的职务,后因妨碍司法程序而入狱。商务大臣祈维信被牵连进了几次拙劣的政治阴谋,但似乎失去了对高职位的兴趣。至少在大选前,克莱格看起来是安全的。
Still, only the party's distinctive traits fully account for its good mood. Compared with the Tories and Labour, the Lib Dem party is democratic and small. Its practice of voting on policy—members raising their conference passes in debates to indicate their views—releases pressure. And its size means that senior figures often know members personally, the better to keep them loyal. Knowing that the leaders care “cheers you up when you're out canvassing and only two people have turned up,” says Leola, an activist from Hampshire.
不变的是,只有该党独特的特征才能完全解释它的好心情。与托利派和工党相比,自由民主党民主、规模小。它在政治投票上的实践(党员在辩论中举起会议通行证来表达自己的观点)释放了压力。它的规模意味着高级官员与党员私交也很好,这有利于保证党员的忠诚度。来自汉普郡的积极分子莱奥拉说,知道领导人关心自己“可以让你在外出拉票,即便只有两个人出现时依然精神振奋。”
The party also has a long memory. Asked about its troubles, older members say they have seen it all before; at the 1989 European Parliament election the Lib Dems won 6% of the vote and no seats. Their ability to rebound is embodied by Paddy Ashdown, the leader who led the party back from the brink and today serves as a mixture of loyalist, high priest and party therapist. On October 7th at the Glee Club (a boozy singsong held every year at conference) the former special-forces captain led members in a rendition of “We Shall Overcome”, an old civil-rights song, a cardboard cut-out of Mr Clegg looking on.
该党也有一段相当长的历史。在被问及该党面临的困境时,资格较老的党员说他们之前都见识过了。在1989年欧洲议会选举中自由民主党仅赢得了6%的选票,没有获得席位。阿什道恩展现了该党重振雄风的能力,这位领导人曾让该党绝地重生,现拥有保皇派、主教、党内治疗师多重身份。10月7号,在合唱团(每年会议期间举行的畅饮歌会)上,前特种部队队长带领队员演唱了《我们必胜》这一首民权老歌,还附有克莱格远眺的硬纸板图样。
Sometimes the party's eccentricities embarrass its leaders. For example, they despaired when members backed a motion regretting that winning had become the “primary concern” in football. But those same eccentricities keep the membership loyal. Luckily for Mr Clegg, the “primary concern” for most Lib Dems is not the winning, but the taking part.
有时候该党的古怪也让领导人们感到尴尬。举个例子,当党员们支持一项惋惜输赢成为了足球的“核心关注点”的议案时,他们简直绝望了。但正是这些古怪之处保证了党员们的忠诚。克莱格是幸运的,对于大多数自由民主党员来说,”核心关注点“不是胜利,而是参与。译者:王颖 校对:曾擎禹

译文属译生译世

重点单词   查看全部解释    
liberal ['libərəl]

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adj. 慷慨的,大方的,自由主义的
n. 自

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deputy ['depjuti]

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adj. 代理的,副的
n. 代表,副手

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delegate ['deligit]

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n. 代表
vt. 派 ... 为代表,委派<

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pressure ['preʃə]

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n. 压力,压强,压迫
v. 施压

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cheerful ['tʃiəfəl]

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adj. 高兴的,快乐的

 
guarded ['gɑ:did]

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adj. 谨慎的,提防的,被防卫的 动词guard的过去

 
cardboard ['kɑ:dbɔ:d]

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n. 厚纸板

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senior ['si:njə]

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adj. 年长的,高级的,资深的,地位较高的

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guitar [gi'tɑ:]

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n. 吉他

 
vocal ['vəukəl]

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adj. 声音的,口述的,歌唱的
n. 元音,

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