Late yesterday the news filtered out that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had reached agreement to form a coalition government, the first in our country for 70 years according to the BBC. I should be quite pleased – after all, isn’t this what I wanted before the election? I’ve posted several times recently about the importance of having a government that represents the majority of voters, and in theory this government represents almost 60% of the electorate. So why is it I feel faintly uneasy?
Perhaps it is because we really have no idea how this is going to work out. Perhaps it is because I seem to have a fundamental distrust of Conservative politics – growing up under a party who is happy to put the provision of mans most basic natural resource, water, into the hands of a private company whose sole motivation is making money tends to influence my thinking. Perhaps it’s because the agreement for a referendum on the Alternative Vote System doesn’t quite go far enough for me. Let’s face it, if you are going to allow the electorate to choose if they want a different electoral system, why not include one of the most widely used systems in the world? Why restrict the options the electorate can choose in that way? It can only be because the Conservatives do not want to provide an opportunity for the electorate to choose a system which they fundamentally disagree with, even if that is the will of the people. That atttitude is extremely worrying.
Time will tell how this government will work. In many ways I’d quite like it to work, I’d quite like for it to show that 2 parties of differeing views can work together and get things done, because that would only make the case for PR stronger. If this government fails to produce, or simply fails, it would be suggested that this is why PR is a bad idea, that it doesn’t work, that one party needs overall control. That would be wrong – PR clearly does work as other countries have proven – it would be our politicians that have failed us, and that isn’t the message that will be sent….