Saturday, May 8, 2010

British politics and the prospect of more of the same

As stated in early posts, there is a firm conviction on my part that Liberal, Labour and Conservative represent much of a muchness and while the media might make play, for instance, of the Liberal Party's pro-European stance and the Conservative Party's anti-European stance as being some sort of a hinderance to them cooperating, we might ask the question and what is this "anti-European stance" of the Conservative Party apart from fruitless polemic to the party faithful. The deal with Europe is signed, it is a done deal, and we can rest assured that no real compromise with the Liberals will be necessary on this and, indeed, on most other issues. The question, therefore, might be, what agreement will Clegg and Cameron come to and not will they come to an agreement? Might be, if it were not for one very important issue and that is, of course, the issue of electoral reform.

The one real thing to have come out of this election is the historical chance to introduce the sort of electoral reform that will at least enfranchise the British people to have the "much of a muchness" party of its choice properly represented in parliament. Moreover, with Clegg's party base screaming their concerns today, it is difficult to see how the Liberal Party can either go into a coalition with the Conservative Party or tolerate a Conservative government without this issue being addresssed. Indeed, should Mr Clegg pass up this golden opportunity, it can at least be expected that there will be many in his party who will find it difficult to forgive him and that is why there still remains a very good chance of the Liberal Democrats entering real talks with the Labour Party after the weekend. For, just as much as electoral reform is a constant on the Liberal Democrat Party's negotiating agenda, keeping the "first past the post system" appears to be a non-negotiable for the Conservatives.

Therefore, what might we expect next week? Well, we can expect the talks between the Liberals and the Tories to break down, we can expect the Liberals to enter into negotiations with the Labour Party and we can even expect a coalition of those two parties that will be tolerated by the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists and a couple of the other smaller parties. Furthermore, what we really might expect is, that once that has happened, Gordon Brown will resign and hand over leadership to ..... well, to who? And it is at this point, we might think, electoral reform or not, these "much of a muchness" politicians will continue to offer their variation of the same, the only difference being that, with three instead of two to choose from in future, it will, indeed, be more of the same. Although, a friend in mighty "Blighty" has just told me that he thinks Clegg will do a deal with the Tories. Oh, the entertainment, the suspense!

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