Thursday, 8 April 2010

Don't fear a hung parliament

I was talking to a German today about coalition government and Consensus (Electoral fusion). He votes liberal in Germany.

In Germany its now the Christian Democratic Union and sister party Christian Social Union (Conservative Parties) are in power with the Free Democratic Party (the Liberal party of Germany).

I asked him how he felt about voting for a party he knew could not win but would try to be part of a coalition. He said he's not a natural liberal but feels that what they offer is more balance and sense to the main party policies in a coalition, this made it worth while voting for them.

One problem we have in Britain is not only that we are not used to coalitions but that we call it a 'hung parliament'. This use of language makes it sound like a negative thing. It's not negative, it is a chance to get agreement rather than adversarial politics. It is also a chance for Britain to have a more representative parliament which offers sensible cooperation between parties.

Much is made about the reaction of the stock markets to a hung parliament. I believe the stock markets would soon get used to a coalition when they see it working. Markets are used to coalition governments (such as Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Turkey, Israel, New Zealand, India, Switzerland plus many others, these countries have a coalition in some shape or form).

People argue that these governments are less stable. Coalitions can collapse of course. However if this happens its normally because there are too many parties involved like in Belgum where all parties receive less than 20 percent of the vote. In Holland a collapse happened when there was a fundamental disagreement over Afghanistan. However a single party in power can also be split due to a fundamental disagreement that can lead to a leadership contest or even worse a full split or collapse (although a collapse is not that common). A single party is not a guarantee of steady and stable government.

We should not fear a hung parliament but embrace it because it is not a bad thing but a refreshing change that is welcome after the expenses scandal and the required reforms. It would be a welcome breath of fresh air.

Todays link is the The Skeptics Guide to the Universe is a weekly Science podcast talkshow discussing the latest news and topics from the world of the paranormal, fringe science, and controversial claims from a scientific point of view.


  1. What must be important to Bracknell voters is that the Tory Mafia must be unseated.

    Bracknell has an increasingly dead town centre no wonder it wasn't good enough for Mackay and half the Town councilors to live in.

  2. I suspect that wont happen. the majority here is bigger than the votes for the 2nd or 3rd parties. If you examine the recent council elections the Tory vote held up well.

    The only hope is to reduce the majority but I suspect that will be offset by voter apathy

  3. The LibLabConsensus will see by the votes cast that many principled voters reject their tired and dated social democratic policies that seem to only benefit feckless minorities. The majority want less immigration, less taxes, less islamification, more freedom of speech, more straight talking from politicians and indeed a feeling of actually being free to pursue happiness.
    Vote for the parties that really reflect your principles because we don’t want another government of no value for a maximum cost.

  4. Since WW2 we have had a succession of 'strong governments'. What good has this done us? Each change has meant ideas from the previous administration have been overturned regardless of whether this was throwing the baby out with the bathwater or not. Scurrilous activity has been overlooked as some MPs tried to make the most of 'their turn'. In the 70s there was a blip when the result was 'hung'. Civil Service nabobs and our adversarial system could not cope and thing collapsed. That does not mean that the idea of a balanced parliament is bad, just that the vested interests want it to fail. Since 1945 no government has been elected with the majority of the popular vote. The voters have continually shown they want consensus, good ideas from all parties to prevail but the old boys' club aided in recent years by the Murdoch media constantly tell us we are wrong. That's why people think their vote doesn't matter. In consensus politics it does. Embrace the idea of a balanced parliament, for a start it means that what Ministers do will be more closely scrutinized. That's one reason why the blue/red buggins' turn hierarchy don't want a balance, they would be held to account for their actions.

  5. who is our new MP for bracknell, i cant find anything on it

  6. our new MP is Tory Phillip Lee link here