To everyone complaining that Nick Clegg has somehow sold you(r vote) out to the Tories, hold your horses.
The Lib Dems *lost* seats in the election. They made a net loss of 5 seats, and gained one percent of the vote from the previous election. That’s (literally!) next to nothing. Clegg’s first response was baffled disappointment. The only way this would be any sort of betrayal is if we had Proportional Representation, which we don’t. In first past the post practice, They gained nothing.
BUT Clegg et al pushed the Tories into publicly stating there will be a referendum on this – a major LD win, impossible without coalition.
Nick Clegg *always* said he would push for coalition with the majority party before we all had our vote. Did you expect this to be Labour this time? This was all he could do anyway – the majority party should form part of the coalition, because it holds the backing of the majority of voters.
Lab-Lib was never an option, despite some people wishing it. Gordon Brown doesn’t play well with others, and even if Brown and Clegg reached an agreement, they would still require support from minor parties to achieve majority. Deeply impractical, considering they can’t agree on anything with the Scottish parties – and the Welsh parties are bound to agree with the Scots due to a pact (boycott one, boycott all). So Labour + Liberal Democrats + SDLP + Alliance is still only 319 to the Conservatives’ 306.
Your vote didn’t really matter because we don’t have PR – thanks to Clegg, we might do. And thanks to the coalition, Nick Clegg looks like becoming our deputy Prime Minister, with four other Lib Dems in government posts. David Cameron himself has described this as a full coalition, rather than some shady partisan deal or Sinister Old Etonian Pact.
OK, we got a shady expense fiddler in charge of the wheezing economy (George Osborne) instead of the person that predicted the economic disaster (Dr Vince Cable, PhD), but you can’t have everything. In British politics, you’re lucky if you get anything at all.
I still agree with Nick (for now). But he didn’t betray you first-time Lib Dem voters. In reality, Nick Clegg and the LDs were betrayed by first past the post, and all those people who balked at the idea of giving more power to the LDs, gave in to fear, and voted for the Old Two.Tags: alternative voting, av, conservatives, david cameron, first past the post, gordon brown, journalism, labour, liberal democrats, nick clegg, politics