Elections and Two Doses of Irony

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I’m pleased to have been interviewed about the current political situation and that it’s been published in black and white, but who’d have thought? The thing is, it’s about my reflections on the political situation in Britain, not in Spain. The article’s here.

Many have spoken about Cleggmania and the way in which his support seemed to dissipate on Election Day. Nevertheless, there is a great irony in the Liberal Democrats’ failure at the elections: they lost seats whilst gaining a few more votes than in 2005, but not as many as it had appeared during the campaign, yet, at the same time, they have gained an extraordinary amount of influence with regard to the formation of the next government. Clegg is the kingmaker. His decision to form or not form a coalition with Labour or, and seemingly more likely at the moment, the Conservatives, will determine the political landscape of the United Kingdom for this legislature. Failure and victory at the same time.

In my opinion, any deal that the Liberal Democrats make must, as an absolute priority, include electoral reform. This is the first election in which the Liberal Democrats have such power; they are dangling the keys to number 10 in front of Cameron and Brown. It would be suicidal to not force political reform which would guarantee their influence in future legislatures. Will they get it? I’m not sure the all-party commission proposed by Cameron is enough, but what I am sure of, is that there’s plenty of hard bargaining going on behind closed doors.

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