Monday, 17 May 2010

But that's how coalitions work...

The main thing that has come out of this election for me is just how stupid the media is.  TV companies were pissed off because the discussions following the election didn't fit their rolling news and the tabloids decided to ignore the facts and just print what they wanted people to believe.   I am glad to see I am not the only one, as the awesome Chris Addison said on Have I Got News For You last week:

“But that’s how coalitions work, I don’t understand why journalists don’t appear to be able to see what the definition of a coalition is, “those two people don’t appear to be in the same party how can they be in a coalition” – wouldn’t be a coalition if they were in the same party, it’d be a majority government you thick bunch of bastards”.

 Nick Clegg went from being people's champion to villain within a week and that was emphasised more in the days following polling day when suddenly you'd have thought he was Hitler back from the dead and holding the country to ransom.  Of course the leaders of the Lib Dems were going to take their time and consider all of their options before deciding what position to take, they'd have been stupid not to listen to all of what was on offer.  Of course this was going to take time, would you expect two companies to undertake a joint venture based on a few quick meetings?  They would take time and go over every detail.  All being said I think they acted rather speedily, in other European countries it has been known to take up to 40 days!

The other frustrating people at the moment are those who "didn't vote for Lib Dems to prop up a Tory Government".  Firstly, you are correct, you didn't, you voted for the person in your constituency that you felt would best represent yourself and your area in Parliament, or at least you should have done!  Secondly you voted for Lib Dem policies, the only way you'd see them all come in would be under a majority Liberal government, in case you are blind, that didn't happen!  After the public had spoken the choices were:

1. A Minority Tory Government, with Parliament voting on each Tory issue on a case by case basis, often just rejecting them because they can, not a lot will get done and a new election would be needed soon.  The party sitting as the third party so not even the most effective opposition.

2. A "rainbow" coalition between parties that wouldn't quite have enough backing to get all their measures through Parliament.  This would be headed up by a Party that was quite clearly tired from too long in power and has ruined the countries finances and is very unpopular.

3. A chance to join a coalition that would have a majority.  The policies closest to the Liberals heart are pushed through in return for support to others.  Positions in Cabinet and right throughout Government and a chance to influence decisions.

You can put your ideas forward as much as you like but there's only one actual way to change things and that is by being in Government.  I think Nick and the team played a blinder, they seemed to get exactly what they wanted out of a deal, hopefully this will result in a successful vote for PR which will keep their influence in the Commons.  The cynics say that they were only interested in power, my response to that is who wouldn't be?  You will be judged on how you use that power!

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