4 December 2009

A Hung Parliament

A hung parliament is many people's choice by elimination: they don't want to see New Labour re-elected, nor do they want the Tories in with an overall majority. A hung parliament would indeed be good for cutting back on executive dominance of the legislature - and would probably be more progressive on matters such as civil liberties.

If the Liberal Democrats refuse to form a coalition government (as they did with the Tories Feb 1974 or with the SNP in 2007) that leaves minority government as the only option. One problem with minority administrations (or near-minority ones) is that the Prime Minister has the power to dissolve Parliament and ask the electorate for a working majority (Atlee 1951, Wilson February 1974).

Only proportional representation and fixed term parliaments could really change the existing system.

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