Azara Blog: Nick Clegg wants the UK political system to be biased towards the Lib Dems

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Date published: 2008/03/09

The BBC says:

Nick Clegg says he will never join a Labour or Tory cabinet - but will push instead for a "new type of government".

Lib Dem leaders have traditionally made proportional representation the price of a deal with other parties in the event of a hung parliament.

But in his first speech as leader Nick Clegg went further by demanding a shake-up of the whole political system.
"I will never allow the Liberal Democrats to be a mere annexe to another party.

"But am I interested in building a new type of government? Yes.

"Based on pluralism instead of one party rule? Yes.

"A new system, that empowers people not parties? Yes.

"We want a new, more liberal Britain."

The BBC seems to be reading far more into this speech than is justified. In particular, it is not obvious that Clegg wants anything else besides proportional representation. He certainly doesn't mention anything specific. And of course the Lib Dems want proportional representation not because it "empowers people not parties" but for exactly the opposite reason, namely that it empowers the Lib Dems. If there is anything worse than having a party with between 30% and 40% of the vote controlling the country, it would be having a party with less than 20% of the vote doing so.

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