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Ben Chu: Beware Conservative hypocrisy

Posted by Eagle Eye
  • Friday, 7 May 2010 at 10:17 am


Here's the likely Conservative narrative:

 

biggest share of the vote + largest number of seats + Clegg definition of moral mandate to govern = Cameron in Number 10

The first two inputs are right. The Clegg factor is debatable.*

But there's something wrong with the bigger picture. The Conservatives say they like the present electoral system. They accept the constitutional arrangements whereby the sitting Prime Minister has the right to try to form a government in the event of a hung parliament.

In the event of a workable Lib/Lab deal the Tories can stamp their feet and cry unfairness. But wouldn't it be hot air and hypocrisy?


* UPDATE 10.43AM Clegg has just reaffirmed his definition of the moral mandate to govern. Ball in the Tories' court. Looks like Lib Dems have surrendered their leverage for voting reform.

Comments

Elections
omasta wrote:
Friday, 7 May 2010 at 12:02 pm (UTC)
If I were a Lib-Dem, the biggest casualty of current elections, I would ask one simple question: why on earth the First-Past-The-Post system works at the constituency level but it completely doesn't work at the state (UK) level? It is as Cameron has won a long distance run, been the first in the finish line but is so weak after the run that must be supported by Clegg to reach the podium for winners.
Is it treason?
jonono wrote:
Friday, 7 May 2010 at 01:01 pm (UTC)
What is the legal position with regard to Nick Clegg's announcement that Dave Cameron should form the next government without paying due regard to and in fact over-riding the wishes set out in the document drawn up by The Queen as Head of State?

Is such an action/declaration treasonable?

Jonono, Frome, Somerset. (a long time Lib Deb supporter)
Re: Is it treason?
drg40 wrote:
Friday, 7 May 2010 at 02:38 pm (UTC)

How is telling the truth "over-riding"? The electorate gave Cameron the biggest number of seats. Maybe one should give him time to express his views, bearing in mind that if the electorate had wanted a Tory government they would have voted for one.

Our local Council had a Libdem group (not far from you) that went into partnership with Labour to keep them in power when the Tories had most seats because they wouldn't even bother to listen to any offer the Tories might make. At the next election the voters had their revenge - there were 3 LibDems left. And then the Tories had an overwhelming majority.

The Consitutional "arrangement" is that the existing PM should attempt to form a government. What's he ging to do, stand on the step of No 10 and say "I demand people come to listen to what I have to say."? Or is he to wait until the larger parties have failed to find common ground before he steps in?

Doesn't sound much like "treason" to me!

Furthermore, Cameron has to very careful. If he makes an offer Clegg accepts, he's stuck with it, because if he welches Clegg can just walk away and leave him swinging in the breeze. The wonderful, mathematically precise, result the electorate have handed down means that Clegg can't be bribed by Ministerial cars and lots of loverly power, because he just doesn't bring enough to the party to warrant such things. So Cameron is going to have to tempt him with one or two policies he likes. OOO-er!
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