The Liberals; Or, the Curse of the Political Center
Liberal parties in the Western European systems are usually represented by small or at maximum medium-size formations. The birth of liberalism as a political ideology is traced back to John Locke in the 17th century. It is key concepts were freedom, individualism, and distrust of excessive state power. On a practical level Locke advocated parliamentary government, a state based on law, and the principle of limited government as opposed to monarchical absolutism. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDS) won parliamentary elections in 1992, 1996, and 2000, and its chairman Janez Drnovek headed various heterogeneous governing coalitions from 1992 to 2002. The European Liberal, Democratic, and Reform Party (ELDR) campaign program for elections to the European Parliament in 2009, reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) within the framework of the World Trade Organization, development of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), and support for further EU expansion.