Friday, May 7, 2010

Phew

Prepare to see the owners of the Mail, Telegraph, Sun, Express, Standard, etc. unleash the forces of hell as they face the distinct possibility of a Lib-Lab deal on electoral reform that would mean that the party of the rich few will never again have a working majority!

I wonder if Labour will really do it, though? For they'll be unlikely ever to get a working majority either. I guess the decision for Labour is: should they sacrifice the Labour Party's chances of ever again being the single party of government in order to lock the Tories out forever (and also ensure our government will in future reflect the country's broadly liberal-left character)? Have I got this right?

8 comments:

wombat said...

Or will the Conservatives cut a deal with the SNP to give them more power in exchange for getting shot of Scottish (nearly all Labour) MP's at Westminster?

Most likely is a Conservative and Ulster Unionist stitch up I think. Then wait for the Labour party to start another leadership squabble or factionalize in some way at which point call another election.

Of course it all depends what Sam Cam's baby looks like... probably a bit like William Hague but then they all do.

wombat said...

Besides which, the Labour party has form on this. Look at the "reform" of the upper house. Still got a gaggle of bishops in it. Admittedly they did even things out by putting His Satanic Lordship Mandelson in there.

Tim Stephenson said...

Why do you assume that a Lib-Lab pact is the likely outcome? I'm a Liberal Democrat and I favour democracy. 10 million people voted for the Conservatives. This is not a minority of super rich people. Another million and a half voted even further to the right - the minority left wing parties didn't poll anything like this. Under a fair electoral system the nasty people on the far right would probably do better than they do now. As a democrat, that is the cost I am willing to pay for a fair system such as the single transferable vote. If Labour had captured the popular vote but failed to secure a majority, then the Lib-Lab pact would have been the obvious option, but under the current circumstances I think the Liberal Democrats should do a deal with the Conservatives who have the momentum. Let's see if Cameron has remoulded his party to a more centralist position, just as Blair did with Labour in the 1990s. If he hasn't, then Labour will have an opportunity to rebuild their tarnished brand in opposition and all they will need to do to win the next election is to put a cast iron guarantee of electoral reform as the first action of a Labour government in their new manifesto.

Stephen Law said...

When I say the rich few, I don't mean those who vote for them, I mean those who are the main beneficiaries of their policies.

Anonymous said...

As for the Conservatives being the "party of the rich few", I think the 10 million people who voted for them might disagree with you. As for this country being largely "left-liberal", I don't think so: just look at the relative circulation of the Mail, Express, Sun, Times, Telegraph et al. compared that of the Mirror, Guardian and Independent. As for Labour voting for PR to keep the Tories out, I think you may be right on that one: lots of people in the Labour Party seem to hate the Conservatives so much that they'd be quite happy to stop themselves getting a majority if they could do the same to the Tories.

Stephen Law said...

My Mum reads the Mail, but would never vote Tory (like many Mail readers). Sun readers are not necessarily Tory. I don't think you can draw many conclusions from newspaper readership.

My comment was influenced by Johann Hari, who pointed out that more Brits then not vote for to pay more tax to improve NHS, believe Britain is too unequal, etc. Of course, I realize you get different answers depending on how you phrase questions. But my guess is those who vote Lib Dem are centre left (and in fact sometimes Lib Dem policies look further left than labours). Having said that - the party itself appears to be about to get into bed with the Tories!

Anonymous said...

The world isn't divided into Tories and liberal-lefties; many Labour supporters are socially conservative, certainly more so than the Party leadership.

In many areas, the Lib Dems have more in common with the Tories than they do with Labour -- civil liberties and localism, for example. That many of them would rather back the most authoritarian Labour government for a generation over the most liberal Conservative leader suggests mindless Toryphobia rather than any real affinity with Labour.

I would also challenge your assertion that "more Brits then not vote for to pay more tax". Most Labour voters are from low socio-economic groups, who are rarely asked to pay more tax. A more accurate statement might be "more Brits than not vote for someone else to pay more tax to improve the NHS..." It's easy to be generous with other people's money.

Tim Stephenson said...

I have read so much about the centre-left but rarely do people write about the centre-right. Watching Cameron and Clegg at the press conference today makes me hopeful about the rise of the centre-right in this country, with it's potential to put us on a path to fiscal stability without the ideological nastiness of the far right. In contrast, I thought Blunkett's comments yesterday were a disgrace and have had enough of reactionary leftists. Obviously, these are politicians playing politics, but I much prefer the new politics. I think the intelligentsia of our country should rethink their commitment to the left.