Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Red Flag flags

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So it stays Brown, for now ...

I stayed up all night on election night as usual. Labour lost as expected but the Conservatives didn't get past the winning post and the Liberal Democrats didn't do as well as forecast. Now it's all down to horse-trading. I can't see the Tories giving PR the go-ahead and I can't see them getting into bed with the LibDems. So possibly a Lib/Lab coalition or a Conservative minority government and another election in the short term.

It was a bad night for Labour but nowhere near as dispiriting as the elections of '83 or '92. No real surprises in the losses and gains but some amusement at Brighton Pavilion turning out Green. The only surprise is that they didn't go Pink.

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Electoral Reform in the shape of Proportional Representation will inevitably change the political landscape dramatically and will probably lead to a situation where we will never again have an overall majority and will have to suffer the kind of horse-trading common in many European governments. Here in Belgium these coalitions are always breaking up and they are forever having elections and long periods without a National Government at all. Who would want that? PR may also see the rise of extremist parties being represented in the house and consequently growing in stature.

Personally I think that if the Labour Party's rise in the early 20C could be done under the 'first past the post' system then a third party should be able to manage it in the 21C. All they need is an ideology that differentiates them from the alternative parties and that appeals to the electorate.

Democracy; it's rubbish isn't it?

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