The end of the Beginning.

Previous Election Posts: The Election from a Students’ Union, Generational Ping Pong, Is this Clegg’s Dagger?

Unless you’ve been under a rock since election day on the 6th you may have noticed some severe turmoil within the British political system because the election result was one of a Hung Parliament. Tonight this has come to an end – at least for the moment – with a  full coalition government between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. There is of course the proviso that the Liberal Democrat MP’s and Federal Executive pass the agreement later tonight.

Gordon Brown resigned today after perhaps the most unfortunate term of office of any prime minister in recent times, confounded by the fact that he, like John Major before him was not elected in an electoral process. Unlike John Major however, Gordon has failed to be re-elected after his ascension to the prime ministerial throne.

For my very insignificant part I think that actually this is the best possible result for this election because provided that this agreement lasts until such a time as fixed term parliaments are legislated, this government has a very strong majority in the palace of westminster. This government is also based on a very well fought and hammered out deal which will be stable in the long term (provided the fixed term legislation is fast). These two factors alone will be enough to stabilise and perhaps buoy the financial markets. With the Liberal Democrats “moderating” the far right parts of the Conservative party there should be no “swinging” cuts to front line services and those on the lowest rungs of the societal ladder will have many voices in parliament. This Government will also have the austerity and careful money management of the Conservatives, which will bring us as a nation back to profit, growth and a debt-free society.

Labour’s supporters have already begun to rubbish this coalition and are already willing it to fail, but I don’t think it will; and here’s why…

It’s been 13 years since the Conservatives lost the 1997 election to Blair’s New Labour project, and as such the Tories are (quite rightly) desperate to gain and maintain power at any cost… “anything but labour” if you will. Also the Conservative party have come an extremely long way towards the “centre” since David Cameron came to power in 2006 and the majority of the younger party members (myself included) are fairly pregressive.

From the Liberal standpoint, this coalition is the best advert for proportional representation that they will get without some form of PR, and if they are seen to allow it to fail the liberal dream of a proportional westminster will be dashed on the rocks of the British public and FPTP’s reassuring familiarity. Secondly now that Nick Clegg will be Deputy PM, four other Lib Dem cabinet posts up for grabs and 15 other government posts the party just cannot afford to lose such influence given the 70 years it has been since the last powerful liberals. Finally given that power the Liberals would be bloodied and tarnished by any failure to maintain the coalition, which wouldn’t bode well for them in a future election.

So there you go, I can see this lasting and I seriously hope it will last for the forseeable future, I also hope that the Tories start to see the benefit of a more proportional system.

Ben Brooks

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