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quinta-feira, 22 de julho de 2010

The UK coalition is settling in

Prior to the UK General Election most commentators had decided that, without a resounding majority, the Conservative party would have lost the election. As the election came closer they went further and said that a Labour / Liberal Democrat coalition was the most likely outcome if the Tories could not go it alone.

Oh how the electorate put a fly in that ointment.

Everyone was left scratching their heads until it dawned on them that the only way ahead was for a Con / LibDem coalition. “It cannot last!” cried the doomsayers. “They will tear each other apart!” they shouted from the rooftops. And the press, as ever, played on every sentence and every nuance to try and find that small difference they could exploit, magnify and turn into a government destroying statement. But Cameron and Clegg stepped up to the mark and publicly declared their intention to make it work despite their political differences. They backed this up by unusually declaring the date of the next General Election in five years time.

They realised, like the silent majority that it had to be made to work. It was an awkward coupling of two almost opposites. The Tories were there to wield the budgetary axe, the LibDems were there to soften the blows.

The electorate, is some weird way, had managed to get the politicians together in some way to ensure the bitter pill of cuts was given a sugar coating.

Within days, if not hours, many of the UK population said they wanted this coalition to work. Strangely many of the elder statesmen of the UK political establishment came out of the shadows saying the same thing.

After an initial few days of sounding each other out and feeling their way the coalition has started to act. Not in a half hearted and ineffectual way, but decisively and with intent. They are laying out their stall and inviting the people to become involved.

The big test however will be the Emergency Budget on the 22nd June. This will be when the definite plans are laid bare. When the losers find out who they are and the few (if any) winners, breathe a sigh of relief.

Whatever is decided I am certain, like many others now are, that the coalition are going to give it their best and will last way beyond the Autumn, the time at which most pundits had given for it to break down and force another election.

The LibDems want to change the UK electoral system to a system of proportional representation (PR) as they saw it as the only way they could gain any power. But isn’t it strange that it was the ‘First Past the Post’ system, which they so despise, that has given them their first crack of the whip in a hundred years.

Text of Jeff Taylor editor of www.economicvoice.com

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