Sunday, 9 May 2010

A well hung parliament

What a strange week in politics.

No one I voted for "got in"—either in the national or local elections. Maybe I'm a jinx. Maybe I'm bribe material—how much for me to vote for your opponent—guaranteed non-election for him or her, squire?

Or maybe as politically savvy I'm something of a nonce.

It feels deeply dissatisfying, a hung parliament. Hung parliaments always produce toothless governments. And there's something disquieting about the sudden accord each of the major parties have for the ever-third-choice Liberal Democrats. It's all rather smarmy, this toadying, even by politicians' standards.

And then a part of me wonders if this was not meant to be. I was, and remain, deeply suspicious of the Conservatives, particular in the speed and depth of cuts they'd likely impart upon us as they try and restore some semblance of normality to the country's coffers. It worried me that the first three years or so of a majority Conservative government would see cutbacks on a scale ruthless and unprecedented.

But now, if they secure a working, minority government, I see another election surely within a year. And in that year the Conservatives would have undertaken some particularly unpopular policy making. But now, given they will need to keep the electorate as sweet as they can for this early re-election, perhaps it will rein them in a little. Or maybe it won't.

And what an opportunity this is for the Liberal Democrats to force home their ever popular chestnut of Proportional Representation. Ironically, given the Liberal Democrat's overall poor performance this time out, they might snatch the greatest victory they thought they'd never see, that of voting reform.

And in the meantime the financial markets wobble and dance.

A strange week in politics indeed.

1 comment:

Cate Gardner said...

I still don't know who got into our ward for the local elections (perhaps I should have bought the Echo - duh!), but my guy fell at the hurdles too by about 18,000 votes.