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Coalition - best of both worlds..?

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by sedm1000, 12 May 2010.

  1. sedm1000

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

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    Perhaps everybody is tired of hearing of this, and this thread may serve more as a placeholder for predictions for the fate of the new government, but has anybody come to the conclusion that this represents the best scenario for everybody involved?

    1. Gordon gets to leave 'gracefully', doing his bit for the Labour party.

    2. Labour avoid having to implement cuts to their own policies - have a chance to re-group in a leisurely way.

    3. Conservatives find a partner to share the blame for forthcoming cuts, dampens voter anger against them at next election

    4. Lib Dems get a referendum on voting reform. Whichever way the vote falls, their support is split by time in Government and they remain with similar or lower proportion of seats.

    Seems that there is something for everyone in this - irrespective of how confused and angry certain groups are in the immediate aftermath.

    The Conservatives could not form an effective government from a minority - a new election would be required after they put forward a proposal of severe (but necessary) cuts. Having unseated Brown, their proposals would sit unfavourably against a new Labour alternative, and they would lose the next election. With regards voting reform, a Conservative hand in writing the proposals can ensure that they do not overly favour Left-wing parties.

    A Lib-Lab pact would have appeared illegitimate, and failed to implement stiff cuts, leading to a heavy defeat and election of a Conservative government at the next electoral opportunity- unless Lib-Lab implemented voting reform, disadvantaging the Conservatives for many years.

    The situation as it stands is that neither party is massively advantaged/disadvantaged by the coalition, and the country has a moderate sounding government to take it forward. As much as his own party will criticize him, Cameron might have played a master-stroke ensuring that whatever electoral reforms have to take place in the next few years, he is in charge of their implementation. In this respect he has probably saved the Conservative party, rather than signed it's death warrant.

    Interesting observations welcome...
     
  2. Gaidin109

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    Joined: 12 Jul 2009

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    That is a big assumption that the Conservatives would lose another Election if Labour simplyreplaced Gordon Brown. History doesn't support that, in all likelyhood, they would have returned a majority. It would be unlikely that a minority Tory Government would implement any draconian or unpopular legislation or tax changes before a re-election anyway.
     
  3. Meridian

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Number 4) assumes that the coalition lasts. Since the two parties agree on nothing except wanting to be in power, this is questionable. Alliances, like marriages, are more likely to last if you share at least some views, but these to parties are opposed on every major issue. I doubt the union will last more than a year. If there was PR then every government would be an alliance, and the Lib-Dems agree on far more things with Labour than they do the Tories. The Tories are well aware of this, and you can watch any schedule over a referendum slip.


    M
     
  4. mattmos

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    Location: Kington St Michael

    So does a coalition between the blue party and the yellow party = the green party?
     
  5. Spie

    Godfather

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    Posts: 13,055

    I'm with Meridian on this, although I do hope this coalition works. Thirteen years of Labour has caused incredible damage to the economy and society. I hope this partnership is stable enough to make real changes over the coming years.
     
  6. starfighter

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    Location: Manchester.

    I think this was the best outcome really. Labour needed getting rid of and as much as we need to sort out the Economy I feel slightly happier now we are off the Labour, Con, Labour Con merry-go-round.

    I didn't agree with all the Tory policies or all Lib Dem ones so assuming they keep the stuff I like and get rid of the other stuff I will be happy.
     
  7. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    I shall quote a post I wrote today in GD, because it saves my keyboard :)

    This government is the most progressive in a long time, and it's positively progressive, with the individual and those willing to take responsibility for themselves at the front. I really think it was the best option, even if I thought it unlikely until the full details started to emerge.
     
  8. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    Even if they pass legislation meaning that neither of them can trigger a GE on their own?

    With regards to agreeing more with labour, I can actually see the Liberals (who agree more with the tories than Labour these days) and the Social democrats (who do agree with Labour) splitting off if we end up with PR.

    The changes put into place mean that coalition governments will be more feasable going forward, and if this level of cooperation is common and works, I can see it being the case.
     
  9. do_ron_ron

    Capodecina

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  10. avec

    Hitman

    Joined: 2 Feb 2010

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    If you tally up key manifesto promises from the two parties, the Lib Dems have done very well out of it. They've not got the Tories to back down on things like the Euro, or Trident. But it's not like they are particularly hard ones for the Lib Dems to give up on either. They weren't going to get us into the Euro over this term anyway, it's just one of their long term aspirations. As for Trident they've agreed to disagree and a review will still occur.

    I think the Tories have shown a lot of progressive thinking in making this coalition and Cameron should be commended for managing to get the party to agree to the whole thing.

    I hope that after this coalition is over, the Lib Dems slot comfortably into 'second party' status and Labour are banished to obscurity.
     
  11. The Mad Rapper

    Banned

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    I just hope it works.
     
  12. sedm1000

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    I'm not convinced that the 'history' argument works here, as the Lib Dems have a more significant share of the vote than in previous comparable cases. They would have to take a big hit to allow a Tory majority - the Labour vote held up surprisingly well given the unpopularity of Brown.

    The Tories seemed to fall short due to the uncertainty over their policies (the only certain aspect of while was the severity of forthcoming cuts). I don't see any way that they could have presented themselves as a credible minority government without spelling out vote-sapping policy.

    It is in the Lib Dem interest to stick it out until a referendum, and they really have to play a straight bat until them. They can't give the Tories an excuse to drop them - and the Tories, in all fairness, probably can't risk splitting the coalition unless Labour shoots itself in the foot and elects Balls/Harman. You are right that the Tories will want to stretch this out, and test the patience of the Lib Dem core vote.

    I don't think that the Tories can win a majority any more without one of the other two main parties collapsing in on itself - their long term plan has to be to precipitate that, or draw up an AV vote that unifies the Tory/UKIP vote and makes Lib-Lab coalitions more evenly distributed (and thus fractious).
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2010
  13. Meridian

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    That is something I hadn't thought of, but a true PR would probably see a lot of such breaks, not least within the main two parties: the Tories would split pro/anti-Europe for instance. And again, they are well aware of this, and how much damage PR would do them.


    I should also point out that currently the two parties have done little but announce stuff: once the voting starts, then we can see how the tensions work out.



    M
     
  14. stockhausen

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    You might like to clarify your original post be explaining how exactly the Liberal Democrats would see this as the best scenario for them:
    As it happens, I'm not convinced that the Labour party are exactly ****-a-hoop over the Tory / Liberal Democrat coalition; in fact, I think that the only winners are the Tories.
     
  15. sedm1000

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    I suspect that, baring a highly unlikely majority, this was the best result for the Labour party. Much less hassle than a coalition with the Lib-Dems, and more time to decontaminate and re-order themselves. Assuming that they ignore the Balls/Harman temptations, then Miliband, D. offers them a modern and articulate candidate to appeal to the middle-ground voters. The core vote is clearly strong, as evidenced in the election.

    The Lib-Dems options were not strong. They couldn't work with Labour after the election without alienating voters, a new election was unlikely to yield great strides in terms of seats. They could stay content as a third party, or associate themselves with power and push their chances with voting reform. The boost that time in Government will bring to their image should offset defections that oppose collaboration with the Conservatives, even in the absence of actual voting reform.

    I think that the Tories do get the bigger boost - the situation was more skillfully played by Cameron than most people will appreciate for a while yet.
     
  16. stockhausen

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    Your earlier comment was:
    I think that there is a discontinuity between these two analyses.

    Whilst I agree that the Liberal Democrats ended up between a rock and a hard place, I really don't see any way that the they could describe a "similar or lower proportion of seats" as a positive outcome.

    Speaking to a number of Liberal Democrats with whom I have worked over the past few weeks, I haven't heard one express satisfaction with or enthusiasm for the coalition; in fact the most senior has already resigned and cancelled his standing order to the party saying that he didn't spend years working for the Liberal Democrats in order to prop up the Tories.
     
  17. Gaidin109

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    I find it a shame that a fully grown adult cannot put aside childish partizan feelings and allow his Party to work in partnership with another to hopefully put this country back on an even keel.

    If the leaders of the respective parties can put aside their obvious differences then surely it behooves everyone to a least support them and show some optimism. As a Liberal Democrat supporter, I am sure you must realise that if a form of PR is to be our next voting system then the LibDems and indeed, all the parties will have to form coalition for every Government.
     
  18. stockhausen

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    If that happens and if it actually offers more accurate representation, then as far as I am concerned, yes great.

    As to the current coalition, I am not entirely convinced that the Liberal Democrats will actually achieve many of their aims or significantly reduce the inequalities in society :(
     
  19. Meridian

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    I just saw this on the Grauniad. If true, and able to actually work, I really don't like the idea of being governed by a minority party on its own, which appears to possible. That said, I still think that if the Lib-Dems walked out there would have to be a Vote of No Confidence, and if the Tories lost that I can't see that they could survive.


    M
     
  20. Gaidin109

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    I agree it's speculative, but unless we are prepared to allow them the opportunity, then how will we ever know. That was my point.

    Just put away the partizan politics for a couple of years to see what happens, if it all turns sour then so be it, back to the drawing board, but it's progressive and different and deserves a chance.