Coalition Confusion

Some politicians – mainly conservatives – are getting in a bit of a twist as to whether at the next general election there will be “coalition candidates”.

They argue that since they will be standing on the same record, there could be little point in having both Liberal and Conservative candidates.  This seems to ignore the fact that they may want to propose different programmes.

Of course under the current electoral system, Liberals could slit Conservatives throats – and vice-versa.

Under a reformed system – even one as pathetic as the Alternative Vote – the transferability of votes would mean that Conservatives in say Richmond (Surrey) could vote for a Conservative as their first preference with Vince Cable as their second choice (and thereby ensure that the Labour party does not win through a split vote).  Likewise Liberals in Richmond (North Yorks) can vote for a Liberal with William Hague as their second choice (and thereby ensure that the Labour party does not win through a split vote – although I suspect that in the case of Richmond North Yorks is the sort of place where putting a blue rosette on a monkey would get it elected).

That way if supporters of the coalition want to try and keep it that way – they can try and do so without having the parties rig the voters’ options by putting up coalition candidates.

Will those Conservatives arguing for coalition candidates realise that it is actually far easier to vote for a reformed election system than it is to sort out “coalition candidates” – remember the tizzy that the SDP Liberal Alliance got into trying to sort out “Alliance Candidates”?

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  • Julian Ware-Lane  On 1 February 2011 at 10:49 pm

    They seem to be overlooking the fact that although one’s record is scrutinised it is the manifesto and the promises for the future that are being voted on. That being said, the coalition parties are starting to look like each other and I wonder whether, in four years time, Joe and Joanna Public will be able to tell them apart.

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