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UK Coalition government: some possible lessons on electoral reform for Canada

If you’ve been out all day, the UK Conservative Party is now in power, with their leader David Cameron as the new British Prime Minister. They achieved that only by forming a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. Their leader Nick Clegg has become Deputy Prime Minister, with a few other Liberals getting cabinet posts (to be announced), and some give and take from each party on the platform of the coalition government, which we will find out in detail soon.

It’s tempting to apply this to the Canadian situation from a number of angles (such as the fact that coalition governments can be used in a Westminster parliamentary system […]


Irony in the UK results.

Fascinating results:

…results indicate David Cameron’s Conservative Party will win the most seats — but will fall short of the 326 seats needed for a majority and clear defeat of Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown.With just two of the 650 constituencies left to report results, the BBC is reporting the Tories will hold at least 305 seats, while Labour is expected to hold about 258 seats in Parliament.

..and this offer from the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats:

The Tory leader, whose party won most seats but was short of a majority, said he wanted to make a “big open and comprehensive offer” to the Lib Dems. BBC political editor […]


The UK election will be close.

The final batch of polls released tonight by all the different UK pollsters still indicate they’re going to get a “hung Parliament” (or a minority government as we in Canada describe the term). It all depends where the different swings are, but the feeling seems to be that if these polls are accurate, the Conservatives will lose enough of their close seats to the Liberal Democrats in those marginal ridings that they wont be able to make up winning Labor seats elsewhere to get the majority they’ve been pleading for.

Exciting times in the UK – they don’t get a lot of suspenseful elections – and you can thank the […]


UK election implications for electoral reform

I’ve said before I’m cheering for the Liberal Democrats to do well in the UK general election on May 6, and I’m very thrilled obviously to see them turn this election into a 3 party horse-race with their leader Nick Clegg doing very well in the leaders debates so far (one more to go next week), and some polls indicating they’re actually leading – in popular vote percentage anyhow.

I should say I’d be delighted if they actually pulled off the biggest upset in UK electoral politics and actually formed the government, but failing that, there is another electoral result that is possible and which I wouldn’t mind seeing; […]


Now a 3-way race in UK election? Lib Dems surge in 2 polls (upperdate: 5 polls) post-debate

For Canadians, debates between the leaders of the major parties is a routine thing (some observers/commentators are even of the opinion it’s a rather flawed tool when it comes to debating major issues).

For the UK however, party leader debates are a novel thing. This is the first time there has been a direct party leader debate format over there, and it appears that the Liberal Democrats and their leader Nick Clegg have benefited big-time from performing well at the format. Two new polls today (H/t to Taylor Owen at his Twitter page for drawing attention to the 2 polls) show that the Liberal Dems have made a huge […]

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