POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JANET DALEY IN THE TELEGRAPH
"Even in ignominious defeat, they [Liberal Democrats]have gained an inordinate degree of power."
"I am genuinely shocked by the advocates of “progressive” politics who are now calling for – of all things – a confederation of losers to outmanoeuvre the winners...."
Janet Daley displays here a remarkable lack of understanding about the nature of parliamentary and party politics.
The simple truth is the voters rejected all the parties: there was no winner.
In a party system, voters must choose between "bundles" of policies, no one party having the just right mix for likely most individual voters. Votes are a series of compromises.
When voting results in a hung parliament, this basic truth is sharply revealed.
The negotiations between parties is simply an effort to adjust the "bundle" of policies to better reflect voters' intentions.
Indeed, parties themselves each contain a spectrum of views on various issues: they are not monolithic in their members’ views.
They only gain the appearance of being monolithic because leadership enforces a set of compromises, but the very same process now going on between parties goes on at regular intervals within parties in their caucuses and conventions.
Objecting to what is now happening between party leaders rather resembles objecting to an important aspect of democracy. Compromise is an inherent aspect of party politics, and it is very much an aspect of parliaments in general.
If you don’t receive a clear majority, and the Conservatives certainly did not receive that, you must compromise: essentially, it means voters have rejected your bundle of policies and you must adjust what you had somewhat arbitrarily run on accordingly.
It’s called democracy, and it is not neat and clean like having a Duce, something for which Janet Daley appears to have a bit of a yearning.