Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Friday, 14 May 2010

Now Cameron has to prove himself wrong

Just under three weeks ago I wrote a blogpost speculating about what could happen in the event of a hung parliament and how we could end up with a Lib Dem/Tory government. I focused on how were that to happen, given all the negative comments by the Conservatives in the run up to the election about how disastrous hung parliaments would be. I then went on to say:

Cameron would not be able to easily escape his election campaign words and predictions. In fact the only way he would be able to get out of it is to prove himself wrong and make a success of a coalition government. Which would of course kick away the last prop of the argument against proportional representation that his party has been so viscerally opposed to.

I think it's fair to say that was mildly prescient. We are now in exactly that situation and Cameron has gone further than I ever thought possible in trying to put things in place to make this coalition work. People always said that Cameron was looking for his "Clause 4 moment" and I think he has found it in this bold step, albeit it was actually the best option available to him (and I think the country) in the short term. Still he has seized it with both hands.

But what I said in the quoted section above it absolutely bang on. Either this government is a success and the arguments against hung parliaments (and by implication against proportional electoral reform) are weakened, perhaps fatally, or the coalition is perceived to have failed and hence Cameron by his own lights has also failed.

We are now in the bizarre situation where the leader of the Conservatives has to fundamentally disprove the key argument used by his own party against electoral reform (it leads to weak unstable government) in order for him to succeed.

I keep saying it but we really are through the looking glass now.

1 comment:

Noetic said...

Hm, but back in September he was very much up for siding with us, but Nick Clegg rightly rejected early advances because we are a separate party.