bookmark_borderThe LibDems have a duty to make it work

Tim Gunn embroidery
Originally uploaded by Totally Severe

I’ve already argued that the LibDems made a huge error when they decided not to explore the possibility of a coalition with SNP in the Scottish Parliament and with Plaid and the Tories in the Welsh Assembly:

This is ridiculous! If they want to work only with Labour, why don’t they join Labour?

The same now applies in Westminster.

The LibDems keep saying that proportional representation is needed, and this will of course lead to many more coalition governments.

Because of this, the LibDems have a duty to demonstrate that coalitions can work.

To be concrete, they should do their very best to try and form a coalition with the Conservatives.

This is probably the only realistic option, given that Labour don’t have a majority together with the LibDems.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying they should enter a coalition with the Tories no matter what the terms are.

The important thing is that a coalition is explored thoroughly, and if it fails, it has to be because the Conservatives wouldn’t agree to reasonable terms, not because it’s easier to stand on the sidelines.

bookmark_borderSecond-guessing as a feature of FPTP

3D Character and Question Mark
Originally uploaded by ????

Although the LibDems advanced by about 1% in votes, they lost a few seats.

I presume it’s because Cleggmania made the LibDem focus their resources on seats that would be winnable on a 5% swing to them instead of pouring time and money into their existing seats.

It’s a huge problem with FPTP that unless you have unlimited resources, you have to guess which seats you might feasible win or lose, and then concentrate on those. If you get it wrong, it might cost you dearly.

The same applies in a different way to voters:

Nobody likes to waste their vote (apart from my father-in-law), and that means people are likely to vote tactically.

However, voting tactically means guessing which parties that the contest is really going to be between and then vote for one of them, which again means that getting it wrong will mean you’ve wasted your vote.

I really hope the LibDems will manage to use this hung parliament to achieve electoral reform!