They said that this issue would be dead for a generation after the referendum result of 2011, kicked into the long grass and other metaphors for a settled arguments were pushed around by politicians, journalists and academics alike.
However the one thing they weren’t counting on, which perhaps they should have realised, is that First Past the Post (FPTP) was still in place and ready to skew the results to such an extent that now we have a Conservative Majority Government on just over a third of the national vote. Endorsed at the ballot box by just about a quarter of the electorate. While north of the border we have seen the tidal wave that is the SNP wash over ninety five percent of seats in Scotland leaving only 3 seats still in the hands of the three “main” parties even though the SNP have only achieved around half the vote. This has left the other sixty percent, in other words, the majority of the parties and voters either disheartened or incredibly angry, long grass my foot!
Sadly these days this term has a somewhat negative connotation but coalitions have gone before and will do so again. Perhaps the problem with the last government was that it is less the former and more a covenant; an agreement by oath where deals were made and promises not always kept. It may be time to get back to the true meaning of a coalition.
To me a coalition is made up of individuals and groups putting aside differences of opinion for the sake of one cause, not a negotiated list of policies, but one aim they wish to achieve which in itself ensures that the coalition ends when the task is completed. I’m very happy to say that this is what is happening.
Literally thousands of people of all parties and none have come together for one common cause. Be they Labour, Lib Dem, Green, UKIP, SNP, Plaid Cymru, and even Conservative, supporters have signed petitions in their hundreds of thousands. People are planning, organising and debating the best way forward and only rarely do you read or hear anyone mention their own political philosophy.
This is a new kind of coalition and I hope many more people will join it over the coming weeks.
Blogger: Ben Lille