The LibDem dilemma.

#1
It seems the LibDem leadership are fairly comfortable with making some sort of compromise with the Conservatives in order to form a working government.

Nevertheless, the rank and file supporter and member seems to be aghast at the possibility. Of course, the reason for this is simple, the politicians recognise political responsibility to the country as well as party and personal principle, whereas the normal voter and activist has none of that responsibility.

But consider this, the LibDems want PR. If PR exists, the current negotiations and compromises will have to be made after every election.

How can the average LibDem activist and supporter truely believe in PR but at the same time demand no compromise once the consequences of PR manifest themselves?

For PR ever to be a possibility, the LibDems have to make coalition governance work with the Conservatives. To provide evidence that PR can work successfully. If they are unable to do this, then they shoot themselves and their demands for PR in the foot. Terminally.
 
#2
Perhaps all those LibDems who polled less than 50% of the vote should resign on the basis that the vote against them was proportionally greater???
 
#3
If PR was the most significant issue facing the UK at present then the British public would have voted in their droves for the Lib Dems because they were the only ones pushing for it. Labour's last minute road to damascus conversion was so obviously a ploy, most voters realised they weren't serious about it. It isn't significant so they didn't vote for it.

If the Lib Dems now dig their heels in for PR in the face of all Britain's other woes then they will never get taken seriously again. Unfortunately, many of the Liberal rank and file should never be taken seriously anyway.

Nick Clegg must now face down his MPs and membership for the good of the country. Is he man enough to do it?
 
#4
Hopefully over the course of the next four years the LibDems will split. Liberal centre right economists on one side sandal wearing lefties on the other. They will do what Nick Clegg tells them to do, but I can't see the Party maintaining unity in the long term. The Coalition deal will probably seal their fate.

Face facts, Clegg stands to the right of his Party, Cameron stands to the left of his. There are going to be an awful lot of pissed off people on the wings of both sides.
 
#5
What the LibDem activists fail to understand, it seems, is that a coalition government between themselves and the Conservatives is the BEST way to demonstrate that PR could work.

If the coalition survives and solid results are achieved on a range of urgent policy decisions, it will prove that the arguments against PR (ie instability etc etc) are unfounded.

If the LibDems cannot find a way to compromise and move into a coalition, or it quickly fails, then it proves the PR doubters are right.

I agree with you nigegilb. PR should NOT be even on the agenda at the moment as there are INFINITELY more worrysome problems to resolve. But if the LibDems see the logic in what I have written, it's in their interests to put PR demands to one side and make the coalition work.
 
#6
nigegilb said:
Hopefully over the course of the next four years the LibDems will split. Liberal centre right economists on one side sandal wearing lefties on the other. They will do what Nick Clegg tells them to do, but I can't see the Party maintaining unity in the long term. The Coalition deal will probably seal their fate.

Face facts, Clegg stands to the right of his Party, Cameron stands to the left of his. There are going to be an awful lot of pissed off people on the wings of both sides.
I think an important factor is how the Conservative right will react to this deal given that, with only a couple of exceptions, they've stayed quiet with regards to the Cameron reforms as he promised them victory. Now he's failed to fully deliver, expect the knives to come out, at least behind closed doors. Frankly I suspect a fair number of defections from the Lib Dems to Labour will happen if Clegg sells out, and an new generation of John Major's 'b@stards' if Cameron tries to go too far.
 
#7
The Lib Dems will have to accept whatever compromises cameron deems acceptable to his own party. If the Lib dems succeed in a coalition with the tories they make themselves potentially electable in future elections.

If they jump ship and throw their hat in with labour and prop up a party REJECTED by the voters, then they are cutting their own throats. Following the inevitable collapse of such an arrangement they will be wiped out at the next election.

Cameron is in a stronger position than the Lib dems will admit... by having most seats and most votes he clearly has a democratic mandate to govern ... neither labour, nor the Lib Dems do. He is right to try to cobble something together, all he has to do is stand firm and if the Lib dems won't compromise he is in a win / win position come the subsequent election.
 
#8
InVinoVeritas said:
The Lib Dems will have to accept whatever compromises cameron deems acceptable to his own party. If the Lib dems succeed in a coalition with the tories they make themselves potentially electable in future elections.

If they jump ship and throw their hat in with labour and prop up a party REJECTED by the voters, then they are cutting their own throats. Following the inevitable collapse of such an arrangement they will be wiped out at the next election.
I agree entirely with the first paragraph. A successful coalition with the Conservatives provides the credibility of governance that they lack.

But the second I cannot agree with. Although I accept there will be many disgruntled Limdem voters around, where do they go? At the end of the day, the Limpdem party will still be their 'natural' home.
 
#9
parapauk said:
nigegilb said:
Hopefully over the course of the next four years the LibDems will split. Liberal centre right economists on one side sandal wearing lefties on the other. They will do what Nick Clegg tells them to do, but I can't see the Party maintaining unity in the long term. The Coalition deal will probably seal their fate.

Face facts, Clegg stands to the right of his Party, Cameron stands to the left of his. There are going to be an awful lot of pissed off people on the wings of both sides.
I think an important factor is how the Conservative right will react to this deal given that, with only a couple of exceptions, they've stayed quiet with regards to the Cameron reforms as he promised them victory. Now he's failed to fully deliver, expect the knives to come out, at least behind closed doors. Frankly I suspect a fair number of defections from the Lib Dems to Labour will happen if Clegg sells out, and an new generation of John Major's 'b@stards' if Cameron tries to go too far.
They may as well stick to their own party as throw their lot in with 'losers' such as you..or was the GE a 'victory for Labour'... :lol:
 
#10
BlueDanubeWalt said:
parapauk said:
nigegilb said:
Hopefully over the course of the next four years the LibDems will split. Liberal centre right economists on one side sandal wearing lefties on the other. They will do what Nick Clegg tells them to do, but I can't see the Party maintaining unity in the long term. The Coalition deal will probably seal their fate.

Face facts, Clegg stands to the right of his Party, Cameron stands to the left of his. There are going to be an awful lot of pissed off people on the wings of both sides.
I think an important factor is how the Conservative right will react to this deal given that, with only a couple of exceptions, they've stayed quiet with regards to the Cameron reforms as he promised them victory. Now he's failed to fully deliver, expect the knives to come out, at least behind closed doors. Frankly I suspect a fair number of defections from the Lib Dems to Labour will happen if Clegg sells out, and an new generation of John Major's 'b@stards' if Cameron tries to go too far.
They may as well stick to their own party as throw their lot in with 'losers' such as you..or was the GE a 'victory for Labour'... :lol:
No, they lost. However, my assessment of the problems the Cons and Lib Dems face is sound.
 
#11
parapauk said:
Frankly I suspect a fair number of defections from the Lib Dems to Labour will happen if Clegg sells out ...
If the left-wing of the LimpDems jump ship, it's more likely to be into the Greens than Labour. Or more likely, they'll be looking to set up their own break-away party centred around two key issues: pro-Europe and PR.

Why join a party on a downhill trajectory that lost hand over fist in the majority of the country and only received a semi-respectable vote due to the increase in support in its hard core vote.
 
#12
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
Frankly I suspect a fair number of defections from the Lib Dems to Labour will happen if Clegg sells out ...
If the left-wing of the LimpDems jump ship, it's more likely to be into the Greens than Labour. Or more likely, they'll be looking to set up their own break-away party centred around two key issues: pro-Europe and PR.

Why join a party on a downhill trajectory that lost hand over fist in the majority of the country and only received a semi-respectable vote due to the increase in support in its hard core vote.
Very hard to start a party from scratch. They might, but I doubt it.
 
#13
parapauk said:
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
Frankly I suspect a fair number of defections from the Lib Dems to Labour will happen if Clegg sells out ...
If the left-wing of the LimpDems jump ship, it's more likely to be into the Greens than Labour. Or more likely, they'll be looking to set up their own break-away party centred around two key issues: pro-Europe and PR.

Why join a party on a downhill trajectory that lost hand over fist in the majority of the country and only received a semi-respectable vote due to the increase in support in its hard core vote.
Very hard to start a party from scratch. They might, but I doubt it.
It is, but could be more palatable than joining Labour.
 
#14
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
Frankly I suspect a fair number of defections from the Lib Dems to Labour will happen if Clegg sells out ...
If the left-wing of the LimpDems jump ship, it's more likely to be into the Greens than Labour. Or more likely, they'll be looking to set up their own break-away party centred around two key issues: pro-Europe and PR.

Why join a party on a downhill trajectory that lost hand over fist in the majority of the country and only received a semi-respectable vote due to the increase in support in its hard core vote.
Very hard to start a party from scratch. They might, but I doubt it.
It is, but could be more palatable than joining Labour.

It depends. If whoever takes over Labour post-Brown is smart, they'll make PR a core part of Labour's platform the moment they get the job.
 
#15
Bear in mind that the Lib Dems were founded as a result of the merger between the old Liberal Party and the SDP. It's been a somewhat uneasy marriage at times but the strains in the relationship have not been widely reported on. The current situation could easily bring about a split between the free-market, classic liberal 'orange book' faction of Clegg and those to the left of him who are still social democrats in all but name.
 
#16
parapauk said:
It depends. If whoever takes over Labour post-Brown is smart, they'll make PR a core part of Labour's platform the moment they get the job.
Does that mean that Labour supports PR, or would just tack it onto their policy manifesto to tempt a few disenchanted social democtars out of the LibDems?
 
#17
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
It depends. If whoever takes over Labour post-Brown is smart, they'll make PR a core part of Labour's platform the moment they get the job.
Does that mean that Labour supports PR, or would just tack it onto their policy manifesto to tempt a few disenchanted social democtars out of the LibDems?
It depends on which element of the Labour party party you are talking about. I suspect there would be support for it amongst the Blairites: see Blair's attempt to bring Ashdown's Lib Dems into the tent with PR as part of the platform for further details.
 
#18
parapauk said:
It depends on which element of the Labour party party you are talking about. I suspect there would be support for it amongst the Blairites: see Blair's attempt to bring Ashdown's Lib Dems into the tent with PR as part of the platform for further details.
Strange, I saw on BBC TV one of the LibDem bigwigs (might even have been Ashdown himself) saying that the talks did NOT include PR as a negotiating point - other than being instantly dismissed by New Labour - and it centred soley around Paddy + one other getting a cabinet post. Ashdown walked away because PR was not on the agenda.
 
#19
whitecity said:
parapauk said:
It depends on which element of the Labour party party you are talking about. I suspect there would be support for it amongst the Blairites: see Blair's attempt to bring Ashdown's Lib Dems into the tent with PR as part of the platform for further details.
Strange, I saw on BBC TV one of the LibDem bigwigs (might even have been Ashdown himself) saying that the talks did NOT include PR as a negotiating point - other than being instantly dismissed by New Labour - and it centred soley around Paddy + one other getting a cabinet post. Ashdown walked away because PR was not on the agenda.
That may be true, though I always had the impression that PR wasn't offered because the traditional wing of the Labour party blocked it.
 
#20
parapauk said:
That may be true, though I always had the impression that PR wasn't offered because the traditional wing of the Labour party blocked it.
Maybe it would help if I mention the context of the discussion. It was one of those Paxman coffee table chats in the first hour after the polls closed. They were discussing and dismissing the exit poll that everybody decided was dodgy. Of course it has turned out to be bang on the money. However, the context of the conversation was about coalition possibilities and key demands. The LibDem bigwig (sorry I cannot pin it down) was quite clear in explaining that PR was never seriously on the table (circa Blair-Ashdown) due to, for the most part, the objections of Gordon Brown. The point being that he, the LibDem bigwig, would never believe any offer of PR from a Labour party lead by Gordon Brown as being sincere.
 

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