Friday, 14 May 2010

What's the problem with 50%+1?

When I was reading through the LibCon, ConLib or ConDem (copyright Daily Mirror) coalition agreement, I did consider the proposal for the new 55% confidence meaure plain unwise. The idea of fixed term parliaments is a reasonable one but the addition of this proposal seemed to be the creation of an unnecessary problem. So it appears to have transpired with Tory disquiet at the proposal being expressed. The new coalition certainly didn't need a row as its third day story but the inclusion of this idea has provided it.

The core problem with the proposal is it could create the circumstances of absolute paralysis. The proposal is not helped by the fact that where the figure
55% appears to have come from. The answer seems to be found in the mathematics of the present parliament. If the coalition fell a Tory minority government could continue under this rule. However, it is not a good idea to shape constitutional practice on the basis of a single and rare election result.

Avoidance seems to have been the immediate position the Tory leadership have adopted. David Cameron has simply talked about the idea of a fixed term parliament. The Leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young defence of the policy simply ignores the concerns about 55%.

Granted arguments about the constitution do tend to raise the general public to even greater levels of disinterest but 50%+1 is a simple concept which will have much natural sympathy. Cameron did once claim to be the heir to Blair, if he continues with this part of his proposals he'll have inherited Blair's trait towards constitutional vandalism.

1 comment:

David Cather said...

I can see it now the Tories DO want to make Northern Ireland a homogeneous part of the Union. We have demonstrated that a parliament can be paralyzed for months on end and yet society continues pretty much oblivious; Dave's going to implement this across the whole of the UK.