Sunday, May 9, 2010

Conservatives and Lib-Dems: a Done Deal.

I think I got it wrong yesterday. For the British to move from First Past the Post to Proportional Representation there would have to be a referendum. So what the Tories do is undertake to have a referendum and see what the country decides. Made an offer like this the Lib-Dems would walk up the aisle rejoicing. The outcome of such a referendum would not be a forgone conclusion so the Tories could tell themselves they are not giving PR they are simply putting it as an option to the nation. Thats cricket, thats fair; Cameron gets to be Prime Minister, the Double Glazing Salesman has his time in the sun and Labour repairs itself in opposition.
If PR is introduced, the Tories who I think have only once got more than 50% of the popular vote would be unlikely ever again to rule alone. Because, however, Britain has become a majority left of centre country solo Liberal and or Labour governments would probably become the norm. The prospect of this is the only thing that might yet hold the Tories back from agreeing to a referendum. They do rather think that they are a minority born to rule. With this in mind some Tories will be in favour of turning away the Lib Dems and leaving them and Labour to run into the sand after which the Tories sweep in with a workable majority. The danger with this play is that before the Lefties leave they pass the PR legislation. Too risky, my bet is now that the Tories will do the deal.
Interesting times. London is still cold and dark; feels like autumn.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Second British General Election within a Month or Two.

Here in London this Saturday its grey, rainy and cold and the Tories and the Lib Dems are trying to get into bed together. To rule here you have to have at least 326 seats in Parliament. The Tories much agrieved got 306, Labour, expecting a wipe out, was happy to get 258 and the Lib Dems led by their smooth double-glazing salesman Nick Clegg were crushed to actually loose seats and end up on 57.
The Lib Dems want first past the post to be replaced by proportional representation (PR) which, unsurprisingly, would increase their personal representation. The Tories, forever looking backwards, would rather sell their wives than concede the abomination of PR. So although a coalition of 306 Tories and 57 Lib Dems looks good numerically, it wont happen unless, it is possible of course I suppose, the Lib Dems relinquish all their wonderful sounding principles for a brief moment in the sun. Labour, who are philosophically closer to the Lib Dems have offered them their cherished PR but the numbers dont add up to the magic 326.
So what? Well, the Tories could try to go it alone with the No Surrender Ulstermen and maybe even the Scots and Welsh Nationalists but it would be not much clear of 326 and about as managable and stable as a paper bag full of rattlesnakes on speed.
In conclusion, its all too messy and unworkable. One thing is certain; we Brits are off to the polls again sometime very soon.
Some stats; the percentages of the popular vote obtained were as below
Tories; 36, Labour; 29, Lib Dem; 23, Others; 12.
Contrary to what the Tories are claiming, they do not have a moral right to rule. Coalitions of Tory and Lib Dem; 59% ; or Labour and Lib Dem; 52% maybe.