UK: The Lib Dems and the cruel dilemma of coalition politics

This is a well written piece from conservative MP John Redwood.

The Lib Dems have a big problem with Coalition politics. They are the one party that believes coalition government can be better than majority party government. They are the one party of the top three that know they will need a coalition in future if they are to be in government again. Despite this, they cannot help themselves from constantly criticising the Coalition government from without. Some of their Ministers are endlessly making proposals they know Conservatives cannot accept from outside the government despite being members of it.

As someone who is sceptical of coalition this neither surprises me nor dismays me. However, I do not want it to get in the way of doing things now that would help turn our economy round. Surely for at least the first three years of the planned five year coalition Lib Dem Ministers should concentrate on doing the things that Conservatives and Lib Dems agreee about? The aim should be to stress the advantages of the polices that both parties can accept, not to stress the frustrations that Lib Dem Ministers feel with things the Conservatives will not accept. The aim should be to find more things that both parties can happily do together.

There are many Conservatives today like me who want to see more freedom for UK citizens. We feel the state has grown too big and bossy. We want a government which trusts more of the people more of the time. We want a government with the confidence to repeal some of the excessive number of laws and rules we have, and to cut back on the number of things the state interferes with at considerable cost. I thought there was meant to be a strong strand of liberalism within the Lib Dems. Can’t we have some more of this?

Read the rest of the piece here.

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Filed under coalition, john redwood, lib dems, london, tories, tory party, UK

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