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Monday, May 10, 2010

A small point on the issue of democracy

I've not yet heard anyone make the following simple point, least of all those who are seeking to create the 'progressive coalition' in Britain.

Sure, the Tories got the most seats. That's their argument.
And sure, the Liberals and Labour collectively got many more votes. That's the only argument they've offered in terms of legitimacy so far.

But my argument would be this: surely a coalition made up of Labour, the Lib Dems, the SDLP, Lady Sylvia (former UUP), NI Alliance Party, the Greens (and possibly Scots and Welsh nationalists too) represents a much broader and wider sweep of the UK than a simple coalition of Tories and Liberals, propped up perhaps by the DUP.

The Tory spin that such a coalition would be fragile is undone by this argument. Because the very thing that makes it fragile is the very thing that makes it democratic - plurality of representation.

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