Tuesday, May 11, 2010

60% of seats, 60% of votes - the Tory - Lib Dem Coalition Has to Happen!

The news is full of talk about a `progressive alliance' of Libs, Labs, Nats and Greens. Silly talk. Added together, this rainbow coalition barely gained 50% of votes. And look where they were - all north-west of a line between the Exe and the Humber. Most of England would rightly feel cheated by such an outcome. Plus, of course, we'd have another unelected Prime Minister. Again, totally unacceptable.
Finally, this rainbow would be unstable and incapable of agreeing to tackle the deficit. As David Blunkett said on the radio this morning, this would be a total disaster for all taking part and Labour should accept it lost and go into opposition. It's their own fault. Had Gordon introduced AV before the election, the situation would have opened up for Labour. But for all his talk of constitutional change when coronated in 2007 he did nothing.

As a Liberal Democrat, I believe we have to walk our talk and get involved in a coalition with the Tories. Not confidence and suppy - coalition. AV is now on the table. As is the Pupil Premium, fairer taxes, a fixed-term agreement and Cabinet places for Lib Dems. Nick Clegg has played a blinder. To enter a coalition is to deliver the balanced governemtn people asked for. Us as part of a coalition takes the scarier edge off the Tories. For every IDS or Howard there will be a Cable or Laws. This has to be democracy in action.

Of course, electorally it is dangerous. Labour will be able to brand us as cutters and will steal votes from our left-leaning supporters. Vote Lib Dem Get Tory will be their big message in 2014 and yes we will pay. But a possible outcome in 2014, under AV, will still be a reasonable Lib Dem presence that Labour may need - so they may have to temper their fire, given that their position in the South of England is so dire and the path back to government so long. Labour's task is made even harder if we go down to 500 constituencies.

Notwithstanding all of this, the current situation brings into focus the question of what politics and political parties are for. Which is to represent interests and create a political settlement. A Tory-Lib Dem coalition has just under 60% of voters behind it and near-on 60% of seats. Were we on the continent it would be viewed as a viable and natural coalition.

So let's just get on with it.


Rob 'Arris said...

"The ultimate pol".....

Craig Dearden-Phillips said...

Possibly yes Rob - but there's only one possible solution here. I think Nick has gone to Labour to convince his own side of the futility of trying to do a deal with them. Many in Labour are deeply opposed. It's a dead-duck. I suspect Nick has agreed with Cameron on this, privately.

Rob 'Arris said...

I suspect you are right Craig - tough times but i'm not convinced the Lib Dem influence will iron out the strategic & cultural aims of a Tory government. I see this potential partnership as something akin to Jeremy Clarkson buddying up with a "save the ozone layer" group !!
But as Cyril Smith once said (after swapping positions based on whips and positional power) - "thats politics lad!"