Posts Tagged “ge2010”

We now have a coalition government.  To achieve this both parties had to compromise.

Compromise is one of those interesting words that can be both positive and negative, mostly depending on the person viewing or making the compromise’s opinion.  It can be a noun and a verb.

Compromise means:

a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles

something intermediate between different things

an endangering

In some ways those definitions are a little odd.  The word comes from the joining of ‘com’, which means together, and ‘promise’.

A joint promise.

When I first heard that the Liberal Democrats had made a deal with the Tories I was angry.  When I heard that the Lib Dems had given up on some of their key policies I was even more angry.  What I didn’t see was that the Conservatives made the same moves.  They gave up some of their key policies too.

It would be easy to be cynical while watching David Cameron and Nick Clegg during their joint press conference today.  There were jokes about it looking like a wedding.  Cameron was asked about something harsh he had said about Clegg.  Clegg had to defend his party’s very involvement.  And all the time they stood together talking about hope, about change, about realising that working together means putting other people first.

I sneered.

But what if they are serious?

What if they really mean it?

What if they really do want to put the country before party politics?  What if they really will find a middle way?

Isn’t that at least worth giving a chance?

But then that would mean I’d have to compromise…

Tags: , ,

Comments No Comments »

I thought I’d post this for those who are perpetuating this nonsense about an ‘Unelected Prime Minister’, mostly the ‘political editors and corespondants’ working for the media and Tory Members of Parliament.

The UK has a Parliamentary system.  When you voted last week none of your ballot papers had a section for choosing the Prime Minister.  You voted for the person you wanted to be your Member of Parliament.  Those MPs mostly belong to Parties.  The Parties choose their leader.  The Leader of the party which forms the Government becomes the Prime Minister.

Which part of that process involves anyone other than a political party electing their leader who then becomes Prime Minister?

That’s right, it doesn’t.

The ‘unelected leader’ issue is a complete red herring and factually incorrect.

Can we at least have a clear and honest representation of the FACTS of how our Parliamentary Democracy works please?

Tags: , , , ,

Comments 2 Comments »

All this talk of ‘The National Interest’ as the Conservative and Liberal Democrats try to hammer out some kind of a deal seems a little odd.

Firstly, it suggests that the Tories wouldn’t be acting in the national interest if they didn’t have to try and get support.

Secondly, it seems to presume that a deal and all the compromise that goes with it is in the national interest.

In reality, neither of these will be completely true or completely false.

Of course the government tries to act in the national interest, or at least in their perception of what the national interest is, and in some ways compromise in government is good.

What isn’t in the national interest is political posturing and claiming that it’s only one party that is acting in the national interest while at the same time crucifying Gordon Brown for fulfilling his constitutional duty by continuing in the role of Prime Minister while the Tories try to form a government.

So much for a more mature kind of politics.

Tags: ,

Comments 1 Comment »

It’s always interesting to see the swing in elections.  This election has seen a general swing from the centre left parties like Labour and the Liberal Democrats to the centre right Conservative party.

There wasn’t much of a swing from the left to other left leaning parties.  I find that odd.

My friend Leo uses a great illustration of the oddness of switching from labour to tory:

Imagine a future in which many of the Roman Catholics in the world decide that they want to show how annoyed they are with the Pope (and, let’s face it, there’s much to be disappointed with).

How do they register their dissatisfaction? Well, in my future scenario, they all leave the Catholic Church and convert to Islam.  ”Hold on a minute,” I hear you say, “That would never happen .. surely they would join a denomination that holds many of the same principles of Catholicism but is different enough to be, well, different?”  Maybe the United Reformed Church or one of the other nonconformist denominations, perhaps … but no, they all convert to Islam.

Too far fetched, d’you reckon? Apparently not. When the people of this green and septic, I mean, sceptered, Isle wished to show their displeasure with the current government they didn’t change their allegiance to a party that holds some of the same basic principles as the incumbent government, no, they went to the party that was diametrically opposite!

He’s right.

To switch from Labour to Tory or Lib Dem to Tory or the other way makes no sense and might even show a real lack of understanding of the core values of our political parties.

I’m sure that our electoral system has a huge part to play in this switching.  People have so few options that in our first past the post two horse race the only way people can imagine change is to back the other big party.

Electoral reform is crucial.  The Lib Dems got 23% of the vote and got 8% of the seats.  That’s just not right.

Perhaps the real electoral reform required is for us, the electorate, to become more politically aware, more engaged and to vote our conscience rather than out of fear or lack of choice.

Tags: ,

Comments 2 Comments »

Who knew that nothing would be so interesting?

The UK election has resulted in a well and truly hung parliament with some fascinating results.

The Liberal Democrat vote went up 1% but their number of seats went down.  The Torys still have only 1 MP in Scotland but the most seats overall.  Labour’s vote went up in Scotland but down in England.

No party has a majority so we need to wait and see what deals will be done.

And the speculation, comment, gossip and opinion is hard to tear yourself away from.

Tags: ,

Comments No Comments »

I was watching the BBC News this morning and the head guy from IPSOS Mori was on talking about the election polls.  For the first time I heard anyone mention margin of error which is actually pretty important with this kind of 1000 people snap sample stuff.

The margin of error is + or – 3%.

That means that the polls could be as much as 3% out either way.

He also talked about as many as 4 in 10 people (40%) in marginal seats still being undecided.

That also means that no-one has any idea who will win.

He also mentioned how the current polls would translate into seats:

  • Conservatives on around 43% would get around 260 seats
  • Labour on around 28% would get around 260 seats
  • Liberal Democrats on 29% would get around 90 seats.

Is it just me or is there something very wrong with our electoral system?

Tags: , ,

Comments 7 Comments »

I watched the first ever UK General Election Leader’s debate on TV last night.

I was struck by a number of things.

The first was that it was actually quite engaging.  There was always a fear that the huge list of rules and guideline that the Parties had come up with to minimise the possibility of exposing their man to a damaging attack would kill off any chance of a real discussion.  That didn’t happen.

Media friendly David Cameron didn’t do well.  That was a big surprise, especially as of the three he had the most to lose.

Nick Clegg did really well.

Gordon Brown didn’t suck.

Of course there are many arguments to be had about style v substance but the big winner was Clegg and the Liberal Democrats.  They were given equal billing and boy did they grasp it.

Which leaves us in an interesting place.  Has the debate changed the game?  Are the Lib Dems now a real possibility?  Or at least not just the other lot that will never win…

The dismissal of small parties has always puzzled me.  Tactical voting is odd.  It has often been said that if all the people who would want to vote LibDem but don’t see the point because they won’t get in actually voted for them then they would indeed be challengers.

In Scotland the SNP form the government.  That happened because people chose not to vote for the party they have always voted for.  And because we have a much fairer voting system.  We have a hung parliament… and it works.

For me the elephant in the room last night wasn’t the economy, it was devolution.  Most of the debate didn’t apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who all have devolved responsibility for health, education and policing.

When are the Westminster parties going to get a real grip on the fact that England doesn’t have the same rights as the rest of the UK and that this should make a difference to how we govern the UK as a whole?

The next few weeks will be very interesting…

Tags: ,

Comments 1 Comment »