Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who really wins out of the 55% rule?

A number of people, following my earlier post today, have pointed out that the 55% "super majority" vote is not for confidence votes, but rather for dissolution votes within fixed-term Parliaments. The argument thus goes that because the Tories don't have 55% of the vote they wouldn't just be able to win a dissolution vote at a time of their own choosing.

Thus, as some have said, it's not really that bad at all. However, if you take a closer look it might actually be worse than previously thought and, in fact, it may just be that the Lib Dems have totally conned the Tories with a ruse that boosts their power for years to come.

Basically, what we might in fact have with the 55% rule is not a means to lock the door of Downing Street for Cameron (as it first appears), but rather a very clever long-term strategy to make a third party be able to sway vast amount of power in parliament and forms Government without the need for election mid-terms if a confidence vote is lost.

Imagine for example, if unlike now, the share of the voting power was such that a third party could form a Government with either of the other two. A Parliament made up of Con 40%, Lab 35%, Lib Dems 20% for arguments sake. The potential for radical pendulum-style changes of Government without an election become a very real possibility - is that democratic?

The quick and easy analysis was that the rule was a stitch-up by the Tories, however, perhaps it's really a stitching-up of the Tories by the Lib Dems who are looking to future Parliaments, not this one?

As one person put it to me "this is what happens if an experienced Eurocrat negotiator sits down with a bunch of power-hungry poshboys who wrongly believe they have the upper hand."

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