Bolivia Newton-John's Blog

Inaugural post, response to Guido’s “The Change Coalition”

April 27, 2010
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I was quite pleased to read the Part I of that post (http://order-order.com/2010/04/18/the-change-coalition/) as it showed at least some people were thinking big and thinking sensible. The fact is that coalition governments are only alien to the UK, and work fine in many well-established democracies. Maybe they have elections more often, and change governments more often, but a cursory look at our last Lab and Con sole majorities (13 and 18 years respectively) suggests to me that that may not be a bad thing. I wish those governments had had more restraints placed on their legislative programs. Parties would a) be WAY more likely to seek cross-party consensus for their policies and b) think more long-term, if there were hung parliaments, because a) (obviously) they would need other parties’ support to get it through, b) they could quite easily be chucked out of government soon enough and if their legislation was that unpalatable it would be repealed (useful anti-extremism check and balance) and c) even if they were chucked out they might be back in again soon so it would hopefully prevent the kind of repulsive scorched-earth fuckery we’ve been seeing from Labour recently, and saw from Maggie towards the end of her reign.

Viewing coalitions as most of the public/media in this country seem to every possible combination of the main three would be unworkable in coalition. However, if our politicians grew up it could easily happen, as it does elsewhere. Guido notes one possible permutation, in my view one of the best possible (even down to which LD mainstay would fuck off back to the benches), though I agree with Guido politically usually anyway, but it is only one possible permutation. There are many others which are feasible, taking into account solely the politics of the politicians. As Guido and apparently others have noted however, our political system cultivates tribalism and consequent hatred between party activists, so it is entirely possible that no coalition whatsoever will materialise. Which is fine with a pretend government like the Scottish or European ones, but in Britain’s fiscal plight is unacceptable.

Interesting times anyway!

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About author

Bolivia Newton-John is an enthusiast from South East London. She will be mostly writing about society, anthropology, politics and entertainment, though hopefully in a less pretentious manner than here indicated. Bolivia Newton-John likes diplomacy, irony, and seeing the big picture. Bolivia Newton-John dislikes misanthropy, self-importance, and censorship.

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