Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Post Election Confusion



5 days since the General Election, and we still have no Prime Minister or government.

One thing is bothering me about the the current shenanigans, and that is the attitude of a lot of Liberal voters. The Liberals always knew that they were not going to win an outright majority, they hoped to be a larger party than they ended up being but in any course of events it was assumed that they would be joining some form of coalition government.

Coalition of course means working together, and trading some of your ideas and ideals against the other team's ideas and ideals. I have lost track though of just how many Libs I have heard on chat shows moaning on about Nick Clegg giving up on his core beliefs.

Look people, it's this simple. The Lib Dems are the smallest of the 3 parties who can make a government, they are talking to the Tories because that is what Clegg indicated he would do. Either way, if they were negotiating with the Tories or Nu-Labour, neither Cameron nor -insert next Labour leader's name here- are going to fold and swap all their own policies for Lib Dem ones, it just will not happen. Therefore, whatever changes to Tory policy the Lib Dems manage it will be more political influence than the Liberals have ever had before.

I do agree that electoral reform is the big one though. Almost every nation in the world has abandoned the first past the post system, that is because it is anti-democratic and allows the Tories and Labour to bully other voters into so called tactical voting because they are made to believe that a vote cast outside the big two is wasted.

So far Cameron seems to be offering a referendum on the deeply unsatisfactory Alternative Vote system. Following the record of the last government on providing manifesto promises on referendums, this promise might not be worth anything at all.

Of course the Tories don't want Proportional Representation, under the fair system the Tories would see their share of MP's in parliament fall drastically. The Liberals got 23% of the vote in the general election, and under PR where people felt there vote would properly count, that percentage could well rise.

The worst option of course is that we will have another election, on the first past the post system, later this year. This would allow both Labour and Tories to employ more anti-democratic bullying tactics to try and squeeze out the smaller parties.

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