Saturday, July 10, 2010

Indulge me in a little fantasy...

I have just been reading The Nameless Libertarian's critique of the often-bandied about phrase that Our New Coalition Overlords™ are "the best government in a generation"...
So yes, this coalition - which is a fledgling government that will not be possible to assess effectively until after it has left power - is, thus far, the best government in a generation. But for over 20 years, this country has had pretty dreadful government from its political class. And this is what bothers me - it isn't really an achievement to be the best government in a generation when you've only just started and when your immediate predecessors have been shit. The bar has been set so low for Cameron et al that they will be able to claim success even if they succeed at nothing other than avoiding direct, clear-cut failure.

... and a thought suddenly occurred to me (these things do happen, from time to time)...

Let us assume that this Coalition is, in fact, absolutely super; let us assume that, at the end of their term, they have gone a long way to balancing the books, have sorted out the state failures and are generally (pretty much) everything that we could reasonably hope for; let us also assume that we, the people, believe that it is the combination of Conservatives and LibDems that have made it so; and let us further assume that Our New Coalition Overlords™ are so super, that we wish them to continue in government for another term.

Tell me: how, exactly, do we vote for that?

14 comments:

Andrew Hickey said...

Well, if we get AV in, you put Lib Dems first and Tories second, or vice versa. That then both maximises the chance of getting one of the two parties you like in in your seat, but also lets the two parties know that in a hung parliament (much more likely under AV), you want them to work together rather than with other parties.

Simon said...

If the Coalition has been successful and is very popular it will be in both interests of both parties not to campaign against each other in seats that they occupy and to agree a split on Labour seats (based on 2nd place?) and not campaign against each other in those seats. S

Can't see that happening though, too much animosity and tribalism at the local level.

Chuckles said...

So they want us to think that they're well hung?

I'm sure the electorate would agree on certain interpretations of that. Although to be fair, they are starting from a fairly low marker, so they're currently at full stretch reaching up to touch bottom as far as I can judge.

Ian E said...

No, no. You are all missing the Master Plan - Dave has everything under control (except for you of course, Mr Chef).

They may just be engaged at present, but we will all be cordially invited to the Wedding of the Millenium well before they allow us to cast our votes!

Anonymous said...

As Andrew says, vote first for AV on May 5th 2011, that's projected to be a major advantage to the Lib Dems at least to begin with; then vote as described above.

Felix said...

What Andrew said. If we don't have AV, then simply pick the party most likely to win in your constituency - an anti Labour alliance.

Clarissa said...

There is a chance that the LDs will have fractured by the next election as the two disparate wings of the party fall out resulting in the sandal wearing hippies joining Lab or the Greens and the orange bookers (the allegedly sensible part) having merged with the Tories.

Anonymous said...

As Clarissa said, join the tories and get a friend to join the LDs. If enough people do this, then they could force a vote on merging. This would create the Conservative-Liberal party, which I believe comprises both ends of the US political spectrum

Andrew Hickey said...

What Mat said. Any preferential voting system will eventually bring about a fragmentation into smaller parties anyway, and all you'd do with pushes for a merger would be to antagonise the grass-roots of the Lib Dems, the *VAST* majority of whom (myself included) are very, very uneasy about even working this closely with the Tories.

One of the main reasons I want a preferential system is that I want a realignment of British politics, so we have a 'left' liberal/environmentalist/co-operative/anarchist grouping and a 'right' liberal/libertarian/one-nation-tory grouping, which I see as very possible and infinitely preferable to our current authoritarian-right vs authoritarian-left groupings. I'd find myself on the left of that divide while most here would find themselves on the right, but I suspect *all* would find *either* side in that split better than what we have now.

But that won't happen by entryists trying to merge two parties with fundamental differences between them.

Josh said...

Marriages of convenience can be long and stable. In Australia the Nationals (agrarian socialists) and the Liberal Party (roughly pro-business conservatives) have been in a coalition since at least 1996.

andy janes said...

I agree a reshuffling of the parties is very likely, as stated above with the social democrat side of the lib-dems breaking away to form a new SDP or rejoining labour, and the rest merging with the Tories to form a new 'Liberal Unionist' party (which would then casue the social conervatives to quit and either join UKIP of reform the tory party.)

I also think will be interesting to see how the coalition parties campiagn in the Scottish parliament next year, will they not oppose each other or encorage their votes to give their second preference to the other party?

John B said...

The scary thing would then be the left and right wing authoritarians loons join up, that's be a govt of horror.

Woolas *and* Dorries, stamping on a human face for eternity.

Lord T said...

How do you vote for it?

Easy for Tory again. The only thing thats doesn't fit in with Camerons agenda is the AV voting and that is his payment to the LibDims to get him into power.

So vote Dave next time as well and when he gets a majority he will still be introducing this stuff.

Robert said...

Surely its much easier than you all think: Wherever you are, just vote for the incumbent!