The UK is hung - Part 4

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Stockholm

If this comes to pass I wonder if Ignatieff will be kicking himself that he didn't demand six cabinet positions and the post of Deputy PM in a Harper-led government after he decided to prop up the Tories last year. At least Clegg looks like he will get something in return for his support - the hapless Liberals in canada just prop up Harper in exchange for NOTHING.

Stockholm

"On his blog, Newsnight's Michael Crick quotes an unnamed Liberal Democrat MP who told him he was amazed how much the Tories were willing to compromise. The MP told Crick:

 quote

I can't believe how much they've offered us. The Tories have basically rubbed out their manifesto and inserted ours. We'll have to cope for four or five years with our flesh creeping, but still."

takeitslowly

i will believe it when i see it..

takeitslowly

if the Liberal party joined Harper in a coalition, the two party system would be between libcon and NDP, that would would be a nightmare for the two traditional parties.

NorthReport

Gordon Brown resigns as UK prime minister

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/election_2010/8675913.stm

Augustus

Turns out my prediction on the other thread that David Cameron would become Prime Minister was the correct one.  Smile

I won't gloat too much, North Report, although I could.  Laughing

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Democracy Now interview with Tariq Ali

TARIQ ALI: Well, Amy, what is essentially going on here is that you have three mainstream parties: Labor, which has been defeated; the Conservatives, who have the largest popular vote and more seats in Parliament than anyone else; and the Lib Dems, the Liberal Democrats, who hold the balance. And they’re all maneuvering—the Lib Dems, in particular—to see who is going to offer them more cabinet positions, who and, more importantly, which of the other two parties are in favor of changing the electoral system to proportional representation, so that in the next election, the members of Parliament are elected on a proportional basis, which is what happens in most of Europe and which is certainly more democratic. Both the Conservatives and Labor are offering changes to the electoral system, provided the Lib Dems decide to back them.

And these sort of games are going on, are very entertaining to the television journalists and people who report them, but a more fundamental point is this: all these three parties agree with each other on the economic measures that have to be taken, i.e., massive cuts in social welfare public spending, which will hurt the poor, and to support the banking system and the financial system in this country. All three are agreed on that. All three political parties are agreed that the war in Afghanistan has to continue as long as the United States says it has to continue, backing the United States in Afghanistan. On smaller issues, there are odd differences in nuance, but there are no differences in substance. So I’m just bemused when I hear talks of a progressive coalition. What is going to be progressive of about it? All three parties are going to do more or less the same thing, which is attack the poor.....

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/11/tariq_ali_on_britains_political_de...

melovesproles

I think propping up the Tories is probably a stupid move by the Lib-Dems.  Labour should benefit in the longterm.  That said, they have done a much better job of manouvering as a third party in a minority government situation than the NDP has in the last three elections.  Electoral reform is a superb wedge issue-refreshing, principled, important and capable of appealing to an ideologically diverse electorate.  It could have been done here as well but we didn't have a political party savvy enough to pull it off and reform has become a non-issue while voter turnout continues to decline to ever more embarrasingly low levels.

KenS

There isn't really a comparison. For the LDP it was just opportunity, not saavy. When you have 3 parties, and the big two don't have a majority- bingo.

Because of the Bloc the NDP is never even potentially in that situation, let alone has it after an election.

KenS

melovesproles wrote:

Electoral reform is a superb wedge issue-refreshing, principled, important and capable of appealing to an ideologically diverse electorate.  It could have been done here as well but we didn't have a political party savvy enough to pull it off and reform has become a non-issue while voter turnout continues to decline to ever more embarrasingly low levels.

This is a more explicit exposition of what is generally an unspoken assumption around here.

Its a wedge issue for the range of people that might like Babble. We are manifestly not ideologically diverse.

Among the ideologically diverse electorate electoral reform manifestly is anything but a wedge issue, and is the antithesis of 'refreshing'. It isn't even that among the spectrum of people who either do or consider voting for the NDP, Greens, or smaller parties.

Nor did it have any general traction in the UK. It remains to be seen even whether it can maintain the profile that the present outcome has suddenly brought it. The LDP was no more effective in building the issue than has been the NDP.

I have no beef if people would just say it is potentially a refreshing wedge issue, or if you want to criticise the NDP for lack of leadership in developing support for electoral reform. But this notion that it is a light bulb that the NDP has just failed to switch on... its intellectually bankrupt blame shifting that deflects people from finding solutions.

Bookish Agrarian

Been reading comments from Billy Bragg and some of his supporters.  Doesn't sound like the group supporting electoral reform is all that happy with the Lib/Dems and their cozing up to to the Tories.  This may turn out to be a big mistake by Clegg if nothing is achieved on the PR front.

NorthReport

David Cameron and Nick Clegg lead coalition into power

 

  • Tory-Lib Dem coalition takes power after Labour talks fail
  • Conservative leader becomes PM after five days of negotiation

• Clegg to be deputy PM with four more Lib Dems in cabinet

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/12/david-cameron-nick-clegg-...

NorthReport

Leading article: An unlikely partnership that could mark the start of a treacherous era

 

 

We should not imagine that this will be an easy arrangement. The social democratic wing of the Lib Dems and the Tories' unreconstructed Thatcherites will make for awkward benchfellows

 

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-an...

KenS

Silver lining for us in Canada. If this results in Britain bringing in any form of PR, no matter how watered down, it will go a very long way to ending the Canadian notion that PR is an alien life from.

melovesproles

There isn't really a comparison. For the LDP it was just opportunity, not saavy. When you have 3 parties, and the big two don't have a majority- bingo.

Electoral reform has been the wedge issue of the LDP for far longer than this last post-election week. They identified that the British parliamentary system was broken, they stuck with the issue and they`ve grown the issue and their party to the point that we`ve witnessed this week where they are setting the terms of debate.I lived in Europe three of the last ten years and I saw those disenchanted with Labour little by little gravitate towards the LDP based purely on their reformist stance. This didn`t happen overnight.The NDP has been in a position where it has bargained with Martin and Harper for conditions to their support and they`ve avoided making democratic reform key to their demands, they had the same opportunity, I fail to see how the Bloc changes that.

 

Its a wedge issue for the range of people that might like Babble. We are manifestly not ideologically diverse.

Among the ideologically diverse electorate electoral reform manifestly is anything but a wedge issue, and is the antithesis of 'refreshing'. It isn't even that among the spectrum of people who either do or consider voting for the NDP, Greens, or smaller parties.


This also is a prevalent assumption by some on babble-that only those of us here are tuned in to the need for democratic reform and that outside of this clique the `masses`are unaware that Canadian democracy is in need of repair. I strongly disagree, I think it`s become increasingly obvious to a growing number of Canadians and will only continue to do so. It`s not going to fix itself and the LDP has correctly anticipated this and got ahead of the issue.




Nor did it have any general traction in the UK. It remains to be seen even whether it can maintain the profile that the present outcome has suddenly brought it. The LDP was no more effective in building the issue than has been the NDP.

I`m sorry but I don`t see how you can say that the LDP has not been effective in building this issue. It`s being discussed constantly now throughout the media where only a short time ago it was completely off the radar. I agree with Bookish Agrarian that if the Lib-Dems do not gain serious concessions on this issue than they are done and will return to obscurity. Their future success depends on this and they will sink and swim with it.

I agree with your last comment.

Stockholm

Yes, the LibDems keep yakking about electoral reform because they know its the only way they can get more seats - but it hasn't led to any major growth for them in support. In this election they lost seven seats and had almost no growth in popular vote - despite the Labour Party dropping like a stone. I cannot overstate the extent to which the electorate regards electoral reform as a total BORE. Its too bad, I find comparative electoral systems fascinating - but the general public does not share that passion.

In the end the Lib Dems didn't get very much at all. We don't know all the details, but it sounds like all there will be is a posible referendum on "AV" which just means being able to rank candidates on your ballot (like in Australia) and has nothing to do with PR. PR is dead as a doornail in the deal negotiated between the LDs and the Tories.

As for the Lib Dems getting a better deal out of a hung parliament than the NDP ever did. Well, I ask you to consider how you would react to the NDP striking the Canadian equivalent of the deal the Lib Dems have struck. Imagine that its a week after the 2006 federal election, after 13 years in power the Liberals are defeated after perenial Finance Minister Paul Martin turns out to be a big flop (its remarkable the parallels - substitute Labour for Liberal and Brown for Martin and UK 2010 and Canada 2006 are the same story) but the Tories under Harper fall short of a majority. Now imagine that Jack Layton plays the part of Nick Clegg and rides to the rescue and makes a deal with Stephen Harper whereby Harper and the Tories are guaranteed four years in power with NDP support on all confidence and supply bills, where the policies of the new government will be about 80% Tory policies and just about the only thing the NDP gets out of it is that Layton gets the title of Deputy PM and four or five other prominent New Democrats get seats at the cabinet table.

How would babblers (and others) have reacted to that?  I suspect that Layton would be  burned in effigy and it would be the end of the NDP as we know it!!

KenS

melovesproles wrote:

This also is a prevalent assumption by some on babble-that only those of us here are tuned in to the need for democratic reform and that outside of this clique the 'masses'are unaware that Canadian democracy is in need of repair.  I strongly disagree,  I think it's become increasingly obvious to a growing number of Canadians and will only continue to do so.  It's not going to fix itself and the LDP has correctly anticipated this and got ahead of the issue.

Thats nothing more than a presumption that PR-as-panacea skeptics here dont think there is a general sense that democracy is 'broken' or empty. We dispute that there is any more than a potential for a link between that, appetite and some actual traction out there for PR focused electoral reform.

People want results, not PR. They could see PR as the path to results, but we are not there. 

melovesproles wrote:

Electoral reform has been the wedge issue of the LDP for far longer than this last post-election week. They identified that the British parliamentary system was broken, they stuck with the issue and they`ve grown the issue and their party to the point that we`ve witnessed this week where they are setting the terms of debate.I lived in Europe three of the last ten years and I saw those disenchanted with Labour little by little gravitate towards the LDP based purely on their reformist stance. This didn`t happen overnight.The NDP has been in a position where it has bargained with Martin and Harper for conditions to their support and they`ve avoided making democratic reform key to their demands, they had the same opportunity, I fail to see how the Bloc changes that.

Thats the unspoken self-referential loop. The LDP talking about PR and that appealing to its supporter base does not make it a wedge issue.

I think you overstate the LDP's growth in the first place. But to the degree it did grow, there is compelling evidence that has more to do with the sad alternatives than with any issue... and zero evidence the LDPs stand on PR did anything other than please its base.

And again, when you bring in the NDP you are not comparing apples to apples. The NDP has never [since the 1970s] been in a 'kingmaker' position. Bargaining over a short term time frame for specific legislation is nothing like the position the LDP is in now. Not to mention that there is tremendously more resistance in the Liberal Party of Canada to PR than there is in the Labour Party. Many Labourites can and do make arguments that PR would deliver pragmatic benefits for the party's [selfish] interests as well as being the right thing to do. Not only is there no such voice in the LPC, its all too obvious that PR is very much not in their interest. Another couple election cycles of degeneration for the LPC may change that, but we're not there now. And until they get there, a demand from the NDP on the LPC of PR moves or else would be a deal breaker for any potential governing agreement.

takeitslowly

I think AV is a tad better than FPTP, but it is not good enough at all.

Stockholm

AV actually IS a form of FPTP. I agree that I like it better than pure FPTP, but it is no more proportional than the status quo - it just makes it easier for left of centre voters to gang up on the most rightwing party.

takeitslowly

``IRV does not address the fact that in legislative elections, having one
representative elected by majority vote may leave many voters with a
"representative" they oppose. Many backers of proportional representation voting methods in Canada [52] and the United Kingdom [53] do not support instant runoff voting for legislative elections.``

 

from wikipedia

 

Alternative Vote, in my opinon, is really suitable when there is only one contested position , like the presidency, but it is not a democratic way to elect members of the legislature, as it does not resolve the issue of proportional representation any better than FPTP.

KenS

Having anything different in the UK would still open possibilities here. Turning the questions into something not alien would be a substantial step.

takeitslowly

Its just too bad PR folks lost so resoundingly during the Ontario electoral reform referendum in 2007. *sigh*

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..3rd day in and 52,001 have signed on to pr.

http://www.takebackparliament.com/

Augustus

KenS wrote:

There isn't really a comparison. For the LDP it was just opportunity, not saavy. When you have 3 parties, and the big two don't have a majority- bingo.

Because of the Bloc the NDP is never even potentially in that situation, let alone has it after an election.

And that raises the question, is the NDP ever going to become the 3rd biggest party in Canada again, or will it be relegated to 4th place status in the House of Commons indefinitely?

Because you are right that if the NDP was the 3rd biggest party in the House, it would have more leverage in achieving a power-sharing agreement.

Policywonk

Stockholm wrote:

AV actually IS a form of FPTP. I agree that I like it better than pure FPTP, but it is no more proportional than the status quo - it just makes it easier for left of centre voters to gang up on the most rightwing party.

If you beleive any of this I've got a bridge to sell you. AV is by definition not a form of FPTP. AV is a majoritartian system, FPTP is a single member plurality system. AV can also enable right of centre voters to gang up on the left of centre party. It was used to keep the CCF out of power in BC, and in an example of unintended consequences, allowed Wacky Bennett to get elected the first time.

AV is actually a single member case of STV.

Triphop

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/12/conservative-lib-dem-coal... Democrat wins:

• Referendum to bring in an alternative vote system. Coalition members will be subject to three-line whip to force legislation for referendum through, but will be free to campaign against reforms before referendum.

• New five-year fixed term parliaments, an entirely or mainly elected second chamber and a commission to review party funding. According to this plan, the next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015.

• Reduce tax burden on low earners. A substantial increase to personal tax allowance from April 2011 with a "long- term goal" of a £10,000 personal tax allowance. Tory plans to reduce inheritance tax that would have benefited the richest people most have been scrapped.

• New pupil premium to be introduced, steering more funding to schools for every child they take from poor homes to help close class gap in school results.

Tory wins:

• £6bn cuts this financial year and a reversal of some planned rises in national insurance contributions.

• A cap on immigration with Lib Dem plans for an amnesty on illegal immigration dumped.

• School reforms to introduce more Swedish-style "free" schools.

• A commitment to maintaining Britain's nuclear deterrent .

• No proposals to join the euro and a referendum lock will ensure that any proposal to transfer new powers must by law be put to a referendum.

• The Conservatives have kept their plan for a £150 marriage tax break. Lib Dems will abstain but not oppose this.

 

The referendum will probably go NO like it did in BC. People hate Condorcet voting systems and don't like proportional voting either. I personally think that the only vote reform Britain needs is Canada style financing laws/donation bans from corporations and unions and cleaned up voter ID/no postal ballots. Too many irregularities in this election. Condorcet systems are too complicated and not transparent and proportional voting gives radical parties like SWP and BNP a say. Brits don't want to go down the road of Israel which is held hostage by Shas. There would be an end to settlements and a Palestinian peace deal/state if the parties in Israel didn't have to form coalitions with the likes of Shas

Best tagline ever, A WELL-HUNG PARLIAMENT SUFFERS FROM E.D. Cool

 

JKR

KenS wrote:

Another couple election cycles of degeneration for the LPC may change that, but we're not there now. And until they get there, a demand from the NDP on the LPC of PR moves or else would be a deal breaker for any potential governing agreement.

If the NDP, BQ and Greens maintain their current levels of support, the Liberals will eventually support electoral reform.

It's a good thing that the NDP support PR in its platform like the Liberal Democrats did in theirs. If the next election in Canada produces a minority situation where the Liberals and NDP have more seats then the Conservatives, electoral reform will suddenly become a bargaining chip like it did in the UK. Going by their self-interest, the Liberals will support AV while the NDP will support MMP. Layton and Ignatieff will then bargain away and some kind of compromise on electoral reform will ensue.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Liberals put AV in their platform.

 

Stockholm wrote:

AV actually IS a form of FPTP. I agree that I like it better than pure FPTP, but it is no more proportional than the status quo - it just makes it easier for left of centre voters to gang up on the most rightwing party.

It is much easier to sell AV to the public then it is to sell PR systems.  All you have to do to sell AV is tell people that it requires that each person elected receive 50% of the vote. Selling PR systems like MMP and STV are much more difficult. And a lot of people just prefer majority governments.

 

takeitslowly wrote:

Alternative Vote, in my opinon, is really suitable when there is only one contested position , like the presidency, but it is not a democratic way to elect members of the legislature, as it does not resolve the issue of proportional representation any better than FPTP.

AV does not resolve the issue of proportional representation any better then FPTP but it does resolve many other important issues such as vote splitting and strategic voting. These are also very important issues. During elections they are what causes a lot of grief as people fight about issues such as strategic voting.

AV is infinitely better then FPTP. It stops all this "Vote Layton, get Harper" nonsense.

If the next election in the UK is fought using FPTP Labour is going to get a lot more seats by shouting "Vote Clegg, Get Cameron". On the other hand, if the UK ends up using AV, Labour will politely ask Liberal Democratic supporters to choose Labour as their first or second choice and choose Cameron last.

The next election might also be the first one to see an elected House of Lords. Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have supported an elected House of Lords. The Liberal Democrats have supported using STV to elect members to the H of L and they have a real good shot at convincing the Tories to agree. Here in Canada Harper proposed using STV to elect Senators.  So maybe Cameron is another Conservative who would support using STV to elect members of the upper house?

 

Triphop wrote:

• Referendum to bring in an alternative vote system. Coalition members will be subject to three-line whip to force legislation for referendum through, but will be free to campaign against reforms before referendum.

• New five-year fixed term parliaments, an entirely or mainly elected second chamber and a commission to review party funding. According to this plan, the next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015.

Going to five-year term seems undemocratic. Fixed terms are usually for 4 years or 3 years as in Australia. The UK usually has elections every four years, so going to 5-year fixed terms will mean fewer elections. Not very democratic.

Cameron and Clegg must think that there's a good chance that they're going to be unpopular during the first few years of their term as they cut spending drastically.So they're they're putting off an election for as long as possible hoping they can regain their popularity toward the end of their term.

I wouldn't be surprised if UKIP and the BNP get more popular during the next few years as dissapointment with the Conservatives increases because of their huge spending cuts. If that happens a lot of Conservatives will prefer AV as a way to keep out parties like UKIP and the BNP.

 

JKR

Augustus wrote:

Measly 36%?  If 36% is measly, what are 29% (Labour) and 22% (Lib Dems) of the vote considered?  Laughing

And what about the measly 36% of the vote that Tony Blair received in 2005?  Laughing

Augustus wrote:

Turns out my prediction on the other thread that David Cameron would become Prime Minister was the correct one.  Smile

I won't gloat too much, North Report, although I could.  Laughing

 

Even though I prefer Labour, this Conservative-LibDem Coalition is entirely democratic. A majority Conservative government would not have been.

For the first time in generations the UK has a government that has a mandate from the majority of voters:

- 59% of votes Smile

and

- 56% of seats  Smile

 

a true democracy at last  Smile  

NDPP

Britain's Hung Politics: The Death Throes of Parliamentary Democracy

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19101

"Despite the seeming ongoing ambiguity in the wake of the British national election, one thing is clear. The spectrum of British polity has now officially shrunk to a meaningless, narrow band of monochrome politics, where the majority of citizens have no choice or influence on any important areas of policy. Democracy is being expropriated from the electorate. The choice people make on their ballot sheets now pointedly has no bearing whatsoever on how they are to be governed.."

different no difference parties..

 

Stockholm

Even the ultra-Tory daily Telegraph likes what it sees since football is being booted out of Downing St. (maybe harper should stop pretending to like hockey):

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/benedictbrogan/100039470/the-sun-is-sh...

"Some might prefer to see the prospectus before cheering the arrival of the Con-Lib gang in No10. The Conservatives are waking up to the hard reality of what this deal means for some of their most cherished policies, as I write in the Telegraph today. But there are some positives worth highlighting already, apart from the sunshine. My favourite is the installation of a Prime Minister who has no particular interest in football. New Labour did many things to our politics but one of the worst was to elevate football and its most tiresome aspects into a quasi religion. Was anything more depressing than Alastair Campbell enrolling Sir Alex Ferguson as an occasional adviser and cheerleader? David Cameron says he is an Aston Villa fan, but has never displayed that teenager’s obsession for the game that fed the tabloidisation of Labour. The tone of government and of our politics is going to benefit hugely I reckon from having an administration that has nothing against football, but isn’t that interested in it either."

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Sage advice for right-wingers, Stockholm. As usual.

Stockholm

...and your point is?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

... rather obvious. lol.

Stockholm

Augustus wrote:

And that raises the question, is the NDP ever going to become the 3rd biggest party in Canada again, or will it be relegated to 4th place status in the House of Commons indefinitely?

Because you are right that if the NDP was the 3rd biggest party in the House, it would have more leverage in achieving a power-sharing agreement.

In answer to the first question, while I wouldn't say its "probable", it is not at all inconceivable that the NDP could get ahead of the BQ in seats in the next election. If the NDP has a good election and harvests another chunk of low-hanging fruit - it could easily go from 37 to 45 or 46 seats. The BQ currently has 49 seats and about half a dozen of those are very marginal and could easily fall to the Liberals or the NDP (in the case of Gatineau. So, I would say that if the stars align - you get the NDP with 46 seats and the BQ with 44-45.

The problem for the NDP in having more leverage in a minority situation is that in the last two party with the most seats and which mathetmatically could conceivably form a majority coalition with the NDP is the Conservative Party - and for many of the reasons I described above - I think that there is no way in a million years that you would ever see Jack Layton make a deal with Stephen Harper that was comparable to the one Nick Clegg made with David Cameron - nor would any of us want him to. Harper would also have no interest in doing that.

It would be a different story with the Liberals, but right now the Liberals are still operating in this Potemkin village made for Ignatieff where they think they can get a majority on their own and refuse to talk to anyone.

Sean in Ottawa

Stockholm has it right here-- the issue is one of balance of power not the ability to crown only one option.

The NDP has to have enough seats to decide what the next government will look like. Put simply the goal would be: whatever the BQ has plus the difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives plus one. That would be the number needed to have a real balance of power. As you can see it is a tall order. If the difference between the Liberals and the Cons is say fifteen seats and the BQ has 40 seats then the NDP would need 56 to have the balance of power where they could bring either side to govenment as a majority.

Less than this might still allow a functional minority but only if the BQ agrees not to oppose it which means an arrangement that invovles them.

Bacchus

More than a third of LibDems are to be in government, including major cabinet positions. And they agree on the following
 
Meanwhile, details of the policy agreement between the parties have been published, including:

  • Trident: Lib Dems will drop opposition to replacing nuclear missile system but will be able to "make the case for alternatives" and funding will be scrutinised
  • Heathrow: Plans for third runway, opposed by both parties, will be scrapped
  • Nuclear: Lib Dem spokesman will be able to speak in opposition to new power stations - and Lib Dem MPs will abstain from vote
  • Higher education funding: Lib Dems allowed to abstain on votes - reflecting party's promise to abolish tuition fees in the long term
  • Spending cuts: Tory plans for £6bn cuts this financial year will go ahead
  • Tax: Tories sign up to Lib Dem plan to raise income tax threshold to £10,000 in the long term, which will "take priority" over Conservative inheritance tax cuts .
  • There will also be a "substantial increase" in personal tax allowances for lower and middle-income people from April 2011 - rather than the Conservative plan to raise employees' NI thresholds
  • But a plan to raise NI thresholds for employers will go ahead
  • Voting system: Bill will be brought forward for referendum on changing to AV but parties will be able to campaign on opposite sides of argument
  • Marriage/civil partnership tax breaks: Lib Dems will be allowed to abstain from votes
  • Europe: Both sides agreed there would be no transfer of powers to the EU over the course of the Parliament and Britain would not join the Euro during that period
  • Immigration cap: Lib Dems accept Tory plan for limit on non-EU economic migrants
  • House of Lords: Both parties to back plans for wholly/mainly elected chamber elected by proportional representation
  • 'Pupil premium': More funding for poorer children from outside schools budget, as demanded by Lib Dems

From the BBC article

Stockholm

Kepe in mind that it was a major stretch for the LibDems to form a coalition with the Tories - and they are the MIDDLE party in the UK. For the NDP which is the LEFT party in canada - to reach across and form a similar coalition with the Tories putting the Liberals in opposition would be out of the question.

Of course, Canada's Liberals could always form a coalition with the Tories - the ideological distance between the Liberals and Conservatives in Canada is if anything quoite a bit narrower than the distance between the Lib Dems and Tories in the UK!.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

British face big spending cuts as coalition shows unity on austerity

quote:
Faced with the type of mounting deficits haunting its European neighbours, the coalition led by new Prime Minister David Cameron affirmed Wednesday that it will forge ahead with £6-billion ($9-billion) in public spending cuts this fiscal year. But these promise to be only the first of a series of deep, painful and politically unpopular cutbacks – and eventual tax hikes – as Britain seeks to get its messy fiscal house in order.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/british-face-b...

RP.

"They said that Parliament was hung!"

"And they was right!"

/oblig

//Mel Brooks FTW

Stockholm

Here is an interesting column by a very rightwing Tory in the UK (who lost his own seat last week to a LibDem after it was revealed that he expenses 500 lbs. of MANURE to the taxpayers!) about why Tories should oppose AV (Alternative voting) with all their might (which is why its probably a god idea!!)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/election/article-1277701/TORY-LIB-DEM-...

 

"As long ago as 1931, Winston Churchill described AV as 'the most worthless votes for the most worthless candidates'. And as the constituencies currently stand, AV would be grossly damaging to the Tories. In the 1997 election, the Liberal Democrat peer Lord Jenkins estimated that AV would have increased the Labour majority from 169 to 245, reducing the number of Conservative seats from 165 to 96. This, he noted, would have meant that they would have received 30 per cent of the vote but only 15 per cent of the seats.

Had AV been in place last week, it would have had a similarly damaging effect on Tory fortunes.

A study by the Electoral Reform Society concluded that with AV, the Tories would have won 26 fewer seats, the Liberals 22 more and Labour 4 more. This is because few voters tend to make the Conservatives their second choice."

ghoris

It will be very interesting to see how this coalition works out in the coming months. As I've said before, I think there is a silver lining here for Labour in that all parties lose power eventually - better to lose with a good chunk of your support intact rather than getting wiped out a la the BC NDP in 2001 or the UK Tories in 1997, and then having to spend the next 2-3 election cycles just getting to the point where you are actually in a position to challenge for government. Labour now has the chance to replace an unpopular leader with a fresh face and revitalize itself. If this coalition falls flat on its face, Labour will be there to pick up the pieces (so to speak). Not to mention that Labour can now paint itself as the sole 'progressive' party given the apparent eagerness of the Lib Dems to jump into bed with the Tories.

On our side of the pond, I think the UK experience could (assuming, again, that the coalition doesn't fall flat on its face) be positive for smaller parties like the NDP in that it might underline for Canadians that coalition governments in a Westminster-style Parliament are workable and should be seen as a legitimate alternative in minority government situations. I think that (somewhat ironically) the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the UK could pave the way for a potential future Liberal-NDP coalition in Canada, without all the squawking about 'undemocratic, unelected' coalitions of 'losers, liars and separatists'.

JKR

This is really bizarre.

One constituency was unable to hold its vote on election day because the UKIP candidate there died.

So the election in "Thirsk and Malton" will be held on May 27.

The LibDem candidate there is asking Labour supporters to vote tactically for the LibDems in order to keep out the Conservatives! Foot in mouth

 

Coalition? What coalition? Lib Dems vow to fight Tories in Yorkshire test

 

Quote:
 

THE Liberal Democrat candidate in the delayed General Election poll in Thirsk and Malton said today he is looking forward to a "full-on fight" against the Tories, despite the new Westminster coalition between the two parties.

Howard Keal confirmed the Lib Dems will continue to contest the North Yorkshire seat, which was the only constituency where there was no poll last week due to the death of the UKIP candidate during the campaign.

Mr Keal said he is looking forward to his chance to "upset the apple cart" and beat the favourite, Conservative Anne McIntosh, who was the Tory MP for Vale of York in the previous parliament.

Mr Keal, who is a Ryedale borough councillor from Norton, near Malton, said: "It`s a full-on fight, there`s no question about it.

"I never expected anything else than we would fight the by-election. It was never in any shadow of a doubt.

"I hope people in our constituency will seize the opportunity we have been given to upset the apple cart."

He added: "I hope disgruntled Conservatives - of which there are plenty - will lend me their vote and Labour supporters will vote tactically to help deliver a shock result in Thirsk and Malton.

 

edmundoconnor

A coalition with the Tories may deeply hurt the Lib Dems. Coming from The Guardian, it's a Labour-friendly analysis, but interesting nonetheless. The planned redistribution of seats in Scotland could see some truly vast and odd constituencies drawn up (Orkney and Shetland, for example, would be roped together with most of Sutherland), where people at one end of the constituency would have lives and concerns substantially different from those at the other end. Apart from conducting the last rites for any sort of Tory caucus from Scotland, and spelling deep trouble for the Lib Dems, this is a heaven-sent opportunity for the SNP to break out of their strongholds in north-east Scotland, and speak for the Highlands and Islands.

Lewis Baston is right when he says Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey could be vulnerable to a 'Portillo moment' (where a senior/notorious Tory MP was defeated in the rout of 1997), but brushes over the fact that the SNP could be the benefactors, not Labour. They were only 1600 votes behind Labour this time around.

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