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I'm inclined to believe that this marks the beginning of the end for the Liberal Democrat party as a credible political force. We'll see.
I generally like the Lib Dem policies. Despite being a capitalist, socially they're the only ones who make sense to me, since they actually recognise the benefits of immigration and the like. But Nick Clegg has ruined them, potentially for decades. By getting into the bed with the Devil and deep-throating him every night for a year he has ensured that their supporters have found new parties.
Scotland's voters do not tolerate such failure, and have completely removed their presence on the mainland as a result. Just as the Tories have never been a credible force here, now the Lib Dems are similarly maligned.
Clegg won't resign over this, but he is finished as a credible political leader. He deserves nothing better and a fair bit worse as well.
Maybe, but it may also be only for this generation/as long as the political leaders keep referring back to them.
I think what is worrying is the lack of progress/interest in a slightly fairer political voting system.
edited 6th May '11 12:56:14 PM by IanExMachina
Nick Clegg made it quite clear during the run up to the last election that he saw his party as the allies of neither the Conservatives nor Labour. He aligned his party with the side which had won the most votes and which would consequently result in the strongest government, and he probably hoped that in doing so he'd have a chance to promote something like the AV.
If anyone's a backstabber here, it's Cameron. The No campaign have behaved disgracefully.
edited 6th May '11 1:07:48 PM by BobbyG
Actually, Cameron has been perfectly honest and stuck to his guns throughout. I despise the man for many reasons, but he shoots you straight. Clegg, however, has freely given up almost every policy his party has in order to help curry favour with their Tory allies. Tuition fees being a major one, along with VAT rises and countless others. AV was about the only one he didn't give up, and ironically he's been cut to pieces over that as revenge for all the others.
Clegg has a lot of blame on his shoulders, all of it justified.
The Northern Irish results are coming in. The DUP and Sinn Fein are predicted to receive the largest shares of the vote in their respective communities, which isn't surprising. The real question will be how badly the UUP will fare. They're a spent force, politically, and a few more elections will probably finish them off.
^^ Would you call the No campaign "perfectly honest"?
Obviously not. I supported the Yes campaign and abhor the Tories and everything they stand for - including FPTP, which benefits them more than anyone else.
But in general terms, Cameron is the devil in plain sight, and Clegg is the Devil who thinks and acts like he's God.
If Nick had been smart, he wouldn't have joined any side, but would have instead kept neutral, forcing both Labour and the Conservatives to curry favour with him to get things through as a kingmaker party. Least that would have given Labour, who, you know, are the second largest party in the commons and thus can actually claim the second largest right to influence policy in the country, a chance to influence things just as much as the Conservatives. Would have given the Lib Dems influence as well. Perhaps undue influence, given the size of the party. Its a poor sign when the system allows a party with a mere 52 seats to decide the policies of the two largest parties in government!
This is why we need PR, badly, so as to ensure that they would get the influence their votes warranted and that alone.
I turned out and voted "Yes" in the end, because whilst I can understand the urge to punish Nick Clegg, in the end I am in favour of a system that forces politicians to co-operate with others outside their own party and moderate their policies.
I believe in coalitions, just not ones run by right wing cliques with an obsession with privatised everything. It's particularly galling in that most Lib Dems don't share those beliefs with their leader and his cronies. Vote for one party, get another.
I don't get the intense media distrust of coalition governments in general, like before the general election a coalition government/hung parliament was apparently the worst political thing ever.
Edit: I understand the distrust of this particular coalition, what with Tory cu(n)ts and Lib Dem leadership compromising their policies to almost the extent of abandonment.
edited 6th May '11 4:05:19 PM by IanExMachina
Me Too!. I like the idea of coalitions, they seem inherently more democratic than one party that certainly didn't get a majority of votes thanks to FPTP riding roughshod over everything.
The present coalition's a bit shit because it's basically a Tory government with Lib Dem ablative armour.
Other way around: Tory and Lib Dem party had to squeeze up so tightly because any sense of distinctiveness would have resulted in the media saying "It's going to fall apart,we're all gonna die!"
It's probably because I'm from a country that has never had anything but coalition governments, but I don't get why people don't like the idea, either.
Sure, less gets done, but sometimes that's a good thing. Also, it gives more power to smaller (or rather, less large) parties and gives people (including politicians looking for a new party) more alternatives.
One very unfortunate trend that my country and apparently many others have had when it comes to coalition governments is that some parties compromise too much, to the extent that they'll be betraying their voters and voting against their own policy just to stay on board and not cause the government coalition to break up.
I'm wondering if it's possible there'll be another referendum on AV a few years down the line.
^ Some argue that "compromised too much" is what happened to the Liberal Democrats. It bugs me somewhat that despite the majority of the things the public takes issue with being Tory policies, the Liberal Democrats are being given the slap instead.
As I blah'd about on the AV thread (same place as I mentioned having a British Politics Thread * thanks for making it, by the way, Ian )...
Given that I think they'll form a coalition, I'm wondering just who they'd ally with. The Conservatives? Unlikely. The Liberal Democrats? It's what I would want to see, but probably won't happen. Plaid Cymru? ... yeah, it's probably them.
Source of figures...
Labour - 30 seats (+4 from 2007) Conservative - 14 (+2) Plaid Cymru - 11 (-4) Liberal Democrat - 5 (-1) Everyone Else - Zip (+0)
So, yeah. They've got good options
edited 6th May '11 4:30:01 PM by AllanAssiduity
Since I'm obviously the best person in the world, the country that produced me has to be the best in the world - so I wish every country had as many parties with seats in Parliament as we do (8).
I could see it possibly happening if we get Ed Miliband as Prime Minister, but even then there's a large section of the Labour party that's against it and AV is probably going to be an even harder sell now the public's rejected it once. And there's no way in hell the Conservatives would ever vote for reform; they've got the most to gain from the current system. Sad to say, I think it's going to be a while before we've got a realistic chance of getting a better voting system.
Considering how many people voted Lib Dem to keep the Conservatives out, they were on track for a hammering at the ballot box the minute they entered the coalition. And while there have been some incredibly unpopular policies of theirs, the coalition's cuts haven't really started to bite yet, especially among the traditional Tory base. A lot of the anger I've seen has come from people that would never vote Conservative anyway.
Again, it's about honesty. The Tory policies are horrific, but more or less what they promised or else what could have been/was reasonably expected. Cuts were forced one way or the other for example. It's the Lib Dems whose idea of compromise is "whatever the Tory attitude to the issue at hand is, we'll go with that and ignore anything we ever said on the matter previously". Compromise is barely even appropriate as a word to use with the Lib Dems, since that assumes they actually retain anything significant of their own ideas.
That's why there's such a backlash against the Lib Dems. The Tories have lied, but in a predictable way. People genuinely believed the Lib Dems would do better and they did far far worse.
Am I the only person on this forum with a reasonably (albeit cautiously) optimistic view of the conservatives these days?
Besides AV, just what, precisely, have they done to warrant this level of hostility towards them?
Aiming to privatise and dismantle the Welfare system?
(Also there is a lot of old hate from late time, with Thatcher.)
IMO, Labour's socially authoritarian policy had much to do with the rise of the Lib Dems.
They were supposed to get into a coalition with Labour to fix their authoritarian drift. Instead they chose to get in bed with the Conservatives and proceed to screw the working class openly. Makes sense they're despised right now.
They didn't do what they were elected to do, at all.
edited 6th May '11 5:30:33 PM by SavageHeathen
I don't hate the Conservatives right now, but I wouldn't say I was optimistic. They're not a dreadful party, but they weren't my first choice, and wouldn't have been my second. Or my third.
Hence my annoyance regarding the way they destroyed AV's hopes of ever being voted in with a campaign of blatant misinformation and misdirection.
^^^What precise measures are they cutting/putting in place that are screwing over the welfare system? I have to admit I don't know much about it.
My general view of the Conservatives is one of deep suspicion, but I'm more sympathetic to them than I am to Labour, simply because of Labours blustering incompetence. I'd weep for the day the Greens got in, or the Lib Dems for that matter, and I'm an SNP supporter (Note for non-Brits; moderate, the current majority party in Scotland, and nothing like the BNP) in Scotland on competence grounds, I'm for keeping the country together at heart. We're actually blessed with some pretty competent leadership in this country, they're just all under different banners from the major parties. I don't like the current two major parties and long for their downfall; both of them. I've never actually voted Conservative, I'm primarily Green. But I have nothing but contempt for Labour. I merely distrust the Conservatives.
Its not so much a liking of the Conservatives as being at a loss for a decent replacement. At least they're leaving the health service alone, even budgeting for some new drugs like the latest in a line of kidney cancer battling drugs that under Labour, apparently the NHS couldn't afford. And hey, maybe we'll actually get some of the debt off by the end of this government, so we actually have some money to legitimately spend without a tonne of it going to interest payments. (Not to mention bringing some blasted financial stability back; having the country sound like its teetering on the brink of bankrupcy everytime there's a severe recession isn't much fun to hear about.)
My respect for the Conservatives mainly comes from two sources; their management of the NHS, and the fact they might just clear some of the red. I'm willing to tolerate quite a lot if it means those two areas get addressed. And also, the fact they're not Labour, who seem to surgically turn everything they touch into issue-riddled mud. I need only point to what they did to the pensions system for that.
@Bobby: I guess I just have very low expectations when it comes to parliament.
edited 6th May '11 5:47:39 PM by GameChainsaw
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