Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A deal in the UK

The UK election has been the most exciting thing I've watched in ages. Yesterday, it looked like the Tories would be thwarted. This morning, David Cameron is Prime Minister. The deal includes a referendum on preferential voting, fixed-term parliaments, an elected House of lords, the abolition of ID cards, and LibDem cabinet ministers. The question is whether this will be enough for the LibDems' supporters, or whether they will face a serious backlash at the next election (and with only PV, rather than proportional representation, they won't benefit much).

As for Labour, it's their own fault:

A [LibDem] spokesman said key members of the Labour team "gave every impression of wanting the process to fail" and the party had made "no attempt at all" to agree a common approach on issues like schools funding and tax reform.

"Certain key Labour cabinet ministers were determined to undermine any agreement by holding out on policy issues and suggesting that Labour would not deliver on proportional representation and might not marshal the votes to secure even the most modest form of electoral reform," he said.

They had their chance, and they blew it. They have no-one to blame but themselves.

As for whether it will last, that depends on whether the Tories treat the LibDems as equal partners, or follow their usual pattern of behaving like arrogant born-to-rule pricks. But in the case of the latter, the LibDems can just withdraw their support and announce their backing for a Labour Prime Minister instead.