What’s yellow and blue and makes Lib Dem voters see red?

It’s three in the morning here in Canberra. The BBC is reporting that the Labour-Lib Dem negotiations have collapsed while George Pascoe-Watson, former political editor for the Sun, is tweeting about a Lib-Conservative coalition with cabinet posts for the Lib Dems.

The IEA’s Mark Littlewood isn’t surprised that the Lib Dems and the Conservatives are close to a deal:

Nick Clegg himself is something of a classical liberal who is suspicious of big government, sceptical of high spending government projects and a firm civil libertarian. His key appointee at the heart of the delicate negotiations with the Conservatives is David Laws, the party’s education spokesman, who is also firmly on the classical liberal or “Orange Book” wing of the party. Laws has been assiduously courted by the Tories for several years and is seen by many of his fellow party members as an oddity within the Liberal Democrat party, albeit a highly gifted one.

But on twitter the #dontdoitnick hashtag is going off. Lib Dem supporters who thought they were voting for an anti-conservative party are outraged and dismayed.

Image from: http://twitpic.com/1mmtlu

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Guido
11 years ago

The LibDems were always in a hard spot. Going for a new government or with Labour that lost heaps of consensus and votes?

Will be interesting whether this will be the end of the Lib Dems as the Australian Democrats when they agreed to pass the GST. It’s one thing to be a permanent opposition, the other when you are actually making decisions.

James Farrell
James Farrell(@james-farrell)
11 years ago

Don, since you appear to have been following this saga with fascination, perhaps could explain why any LDP follower would be surprised by this turn of events? Wasn’t it always the most likely outcome — a Tory government needing, and getting, some degree of support from the LDP? If so, why would anyone vote for them at all if they wouldn’t countenance a Tory government?

jtfsoon
jtfsoon
11 years ago

Perhaps the market liberal wing of the LDP will rediscover their Whig roots in governing with the Tories and classical liberalism will rise again and retake the word ‘liberalism’ from the ‘liberal with taxpayers’ money’ wing. One can only hope.

derrida derider
derrida derider
11 years ago

They need to think of the long term. The Lib-Dems should have electoral reform as their single goal, and go with whoever gives them the best deal on that. Ideological attachments, or indeed specific policy, should come quite a long way behind that.

This is especially so as I suspect being part of any UK government in the next few years is guaranteed to make you struggle in the next poll. The austerity measures needed are huge. It would be much cannier of the Lib-Dems, IMO, to support a minority government in the House than to actually be a part of government and bound by Cabinet solidarity.

Tel
Tel
11 years ago

Well last I checked they promised to move towards an Australian style preferential ballot, and if the British public support it at referendum then I’d mark that as an excellent forward step for the country.

Five year terms, hmmm, dunno what to think about that one.

All told this could be a good government, Tories will hold the purse strings tight and discourage “nanny state”, Lib-Dem will prevent a repeat of cold-hearted Thatcherism. I’m still at the optimistic stage, disillusionment might take a year of two.

I’ll also point out that Nick has just improved his position from a party with less than 10% of the house, to a party with the power to bring down the government any time. From a strategic point of view, he is now armed with nukes, and almost equivalent to the PM.

John Passant
11 years ago

Fixed terms are just such a great idea. Ask voters in New South Wales.

JM
JM
11 years ago

I suspect the Lib-Dem’s have just had their Meg Lees moment. Their platform is very different from the Tories in many, many respects and I can’t see their support surviving the next election – which could be quite a lot earlier than 5 years once they see their support eroding.

They’ve just put their foot in a bear-trap.

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
Nicholas Gruen(@nicholas-gruen)
11 years ago

DD, JM – agreed. At least from this distance the Lib-Dem’s decision seems nuts. A little like Turnbull’s decision to accept the leadership of the Liberals – though he may be able to recover if he sticks around. Too impatient for power.