Did they really want what they wanted?

I really find the LibDems’ behaviour in the Scottish Parliament very odd.

They have more than any other party being the driving force behind introducing proportional representation, so I think they have a moral obligation to make it work.

Instead, they’re now saying they will only enter a coalition with the largest party, or not at all. Furthermore, they refuse to negotiate with the largest party unless it gives up it’s main raison d’être in advance. Let’s look at these two points in more detail:

  1. It’s proper to let the largest party get the first chance at forming a government, but most countries with proportional representation have at various points in time had governments that didn’t include the largest party. If power goes to the largest party automatically, one might as well revert to first-past-the-post.
  2. In multi-party politics, all parties should in general be willing to talk to other parties. It’s fine, of course, to say in advance that a particular negotiation looks hopeless, but surely there’s no harm in talking. Especially in a case like this, where the SNP and the LibDems have so many policies in common, it seems crazy not to try and overcome the obstacles.

Don’t get me wrong – the SNP might actually do better as a minority government, and perhaps the LibDems just need a break from government, but I really think the LibDems voters aren’t really getting value for their votes here!