I was hoping upon hope that Nick Clegg and the LibDems could have had such a surge that parliament was redressed in such a way that all three parties would have had to have been in a coalition – taking the best policies from each and applying it to the the UK as a whole. What we did see was a horse-trading debacle that has given so much ammunition to those who are against PR it’s mind-boggling!
What we do know is that PR won’t happen for at least 10 years – well not in the Commons. Maybe the testing site will be the Lords – one elected by PR, is that a real compromise? I am still debating that one myself – with myself. The centre-left in me is arguing with the left-left of me. It is a real battle.
# Referendum on the Alternative Vote system for general elections
# Fixed-term Parliaments – next election in May 2015*
# 55% of MPs required to bring government down in confidence vote*
# Committee to look at fully PR-elected House of Lords*
# Cut in number of MPs and equal size constituencies
# Right of the public to “recall” corrupt MPs
From the BBC
One good thing is that the databases have been abandoned from the get-go. And that can only be a good thing – it was a horrendous aspect of New Labour, now to see if those other illiberal policies against civil liberties will be thrown in the bin, too.
What is obvious from the NI rise – the one that the Tories said they were going to scrap – is that it isn’t scrapped, not wholly anyway – just the part where the company doesn’t have to pay it – those who work for those companies do. The workers will have to pay that rise. It looks as if the Tories have hung onto their economic agenda. And personally I can only see that as a bad thing, the economy is too weak to sustain the Tory cuts – but Nick Clegg and the LibDems have officially signed-on for that. Yet, we do see that income tax reform may play are larger role with more people being taken out of paying income tax at the low end. This will mean that the middle-class will have a chunk of change but the poor and working poor not out of tax and still paying their share – still nothing at all on VAT. That I can see going up to at least 20% over the fixed term – or more. A tax that will effect those who are on the lowest rung of the ladder.
The schools system will be in a mess very, very quickly so I won’t really go into that one – I only see utter chaos in that department – again. No government seems to grasp the importance of education, yet the Tories will need their workers and religious bigot one would presume.
We do see that the LibDems have also signed-on to keep Trident – that is one thing I would have hoped they would have held out for.
Will the coalition work? One question we see around the blogosphere and in the news site/papers – I don’t think anyone really knows, including me. I can’t see it working in the long term – there are too many right-wing ‘nutters’ in both the EU and the Tory party itself, and they have yet to rise. If there isn’t the 55% confidence vote during this parliament and it hangs on for the full 5 years all bets are then, off. How will Cameron, assuming he survives a Tory party backlash, debate his deputy PM in the new TV debates? There are a lot of questions to ask and at the moment too few answers. The one thing that is certain is that either Labour or New Labour will be waiting in the wings. They will, once again grow (hopefully they will ditch the illiberal side of themselves and go back to a true Labour Party) and once that growth shows real strength it will start jabbing away at this coalition.
The opposition will be there for 5 years – that much is true, so far, which gives them plenty of time to re-group.
Interesting times ahead, methinks.
*I am dubious because of the wording 55% of government MPs or the house as a whole? “Committee is never a good thing, there is a mandate and it should be acted upon and not just talked about.