May 10, 2010
Hung parliament: Cameron’s PR coup to wrong-foot Labour: The full extent of David Cameron's audacity is beginning to emerge (Benedict Brogan, 09 May 2010, Daily Telegraph)
He is offering to trade reform of the voting system for a two-year deal with Nick Clegg that would deliver economic and social change and, in particular, the painful cuts needed to reduce the deficit. Suddenly, it is the Conservatives who are the radicals.
Until now the Liberal Democrats looked to Labour to deliver "fair votes" – their catchphrase for replacing the existing first-past-the-post system with something that better matches the number of votes cast with the number of seats each party gets in the Commons. Tony Blair led them up the garden path before 1997, only to go back on his word once he was safely in No 10 with a thumping majority.
Now in a twist that is causing consternation among some Tories, it is Mr Cameron who is in a position to deliver what Labour could not: a new way of electing MPs, which might be just enough to persuade Mr Clegg to throw in his lot with the Conservatives. The power-sharing deal could make Mr Cameron prime minister within 48 hours.
Just as it took the Right-wing Likud Party in Israel to broker peace with Egypt, or the Tories to start peace talks with the IRA, so it looks as if Mr Cameron has bucked convention in an attempt to redefine British politics in his favour.
The Right should be concerned, subsuming the Lib-Dems is a threat to them. Posted by Orrin Judd at May 10, 2010 5:42 AM