"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"
Is a phrase we often hear but this is how Nick Clegg follows it up writing in today's Times
"So it's a compliment of sorts that the core values of the Liberal Democrats — fairness in society, real change in politics — are now being mimicked by others.
"We are, and have shown ourselves to be, very different from the other two parties. My message to Mr Brown and Mr Cameron is simple: the Liberal Democrats are up for real change. We are not up for sale.
"Mr Brown and Mr Cameron utter fine words about reform and fairness, but their policies aren't even close to what's needed."
So before you get fooled into believing what David or Gordon tells you about how similar the Lib Dems are to either the Conservatives or Labour and waste you vote seeking change where none is due and where none will come from here are four key areas of difference that the Lib Dems not only talk about but have been talking about for years because it is who we are, as outlined by Nick in the same article.
"First: fair taxes. Our plan would mean that the first £10,000 you earn would be free of income tax. This would be paid for by taxing income and capital at the same rate, phasing out special pension subsidies for highest-rate earners, switching tax from income to pollution and introducing a mansion tax on the value of homes above £2 million.
"Second: a fair start for all our children. We will cut class sizes and provide more one-to-one tuition to children by introducing a new "pupil premium" in our schools.
"Third: a fair and sustainable economy that creates jobs. We will use the money from one year's cuts in current spending to create tens of thousands of new jobs in public transport, a national programme of home insulation and new social housing. We will be honest about where savings must be made to balance the books and we will break up the banking system.
"And finally, fair, clean and local politics. We will introduce a fair voting system, ensure that MPs can be sacked by their constituents if they break the rules, return powers to local communities and stop tax avoiders from standing for Parliament, sitting in the House of Lords or donating to political parties."
Nick says we will respect the will of the people, quite right we are democrats after all. The leaders of the other parties are hearing that the people are after change, it is the post-Obama cover all. But they don't really offer it, look at the above and compare it to what Labour are doing and what the Tories are promising.
If you really want change where does it lie? For over 21 years I've known it doesn't lie with either Labour or the Conservatives and indeed for all my adult life that has proven to be the case. They are both perfect imitators but of each other not the Liberal Democrats.
If you want change vote Liberal Democrat. The decision is in your hands.