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Monday, March 10, 2008

Our terms for Government

Unlike Jonny Wright I did not read Nick Clegg's speech as a rejection of coalition government. As the Guardian report makes clear, what Nick was doing was defining our terms and for once it will not be small policy gains that determine our future but a fundamental restructuring of the process of government itself.

As it happens I do not accept the premise that because we are in favour of proportional representation then we must automatically be ready to enter any coalition going. Our overriding priority must be what is good for the Country and if we cannot get a deal on that basis then we must be prepared to walk away. There are other models of government under a PR system apart from coalitions including majority government, minority governments and less formal assurance pacts.

Nick Clegg's insistence that in the event of a hung Parliament he will only form an administration with another party committed to a "new constitutional settlement" involving wholesale reform of the governance of Britain is absolutely right in my view. The present constitution is broken and does not serve us well. Proper reform will benefit the whole country and change the way that we do business.

The chances that there will be a hung Parliament remains remote. However, Nick is right to get this out of the way now so that we can concentrate on our own agenda. We now have a leader capable of attracting the public's attention. We should make use of that advantage to define the Liberal Britain we want to build.
You're in the know. Who's the sacked Welsh civil servant blogger?
The only story I have seen along these lines is about a mole hunt for a blogging civil servant working for the DWP.
I felt Nick's speech was exactly right.

I do worry though that we seem to sit waiting for a broken system to break down finally so that we can get someone else to agree to work with us to fix it i exchange for ... what exactly?

Anyway, aren't there more proactive strategies that we could - should - be engaging in?
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