qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

That's Democracy

It appears that the Lib Dems have had quite a beating here in West Berkshire, losing a third of their seats, and turning what was a finely balanced council into a definitively one-sided one. It's good that undeserving councillors aren't re-elected; but not so good that the default, and in many wards, only other, option is that a Conservative takes the reins. Maybe after they have licked their wounds and introspected a bit they will be fit to return in a few years' time, but I may have moved on by then anyway.

Nationally, it's difficult to see that anyone has really won. It wasn't quite the Labour meltdown many would have predicted; it wasn't exactly triumphant for the Conservatives. The Lib Dems have had what Ming Campbell describes as a 'mixed' result, in which case I'd like to understand what a bad one must be. And it's not as if the BNP or other fringe parties have gained significantly at all the discontent.

The SNP are the largest party in Scotland, but can't form a stable government; yet it would in many ways seem contemptuous if Labour and the Lib Dems re-formed their coalition and governed as two smaller parties. Campaigning politics may (oh, what an understatement) be about principles, but governing is about pragmatism. It would make sense if the Lib Dems formed a coalition with the SNP, allowed them to have their referendum, and then campaigned against it. I believe Wilson (or was it Callaghan) allowed Cabinet members to campaign on either side of the European referendum in the 1970s.
Tags: politics
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