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More and more voters are looking towards the reality of a hung parliament (HP) as we move out of the General Election of May 6th, and with all the media, language and commentary surrounding it you could be forgiven for believing that the world as we know it will cease to exist and that the UK will grind to a halt.  But is HP really that bad or could it be a great opportunity for electoral reform…something that all the main parties talk about.

So as I see it a hung parliament has the following risks associated with it – I’m sure there are others but these are the big ones.

  1. Policy is watered down – in order to pass legislation it must become so diluted to be acceptable for all parties to agree.  This is in particular an issue where there are many parties involved of wide political difference.
  2. Risk of unstable government – internationally speaking this would weaken the role that the UK can play in major international negotiations such as COP (climate change negotiations), NATO, G8, UN Security Council.  Last hung parliament was in 1974 and lasted for 6 months before another General Election was called resulting in a Labour win.
  3. No work gets done – due to the nature of conflicting political ideologies, the party bloc vote mindset and inflated egos of some parliamentarians there is a high risk of the UK not passing any legislation, disagreements about how involved government should be in UK society and life thus the UK grinds to a standstill and the economy fails to recover.

Now that paints quite a bleak picture and I’m not naive to the potential risks of a hung-parliament.  Forgive me, I shall now refer to this situation as a coalition government (CG)…I’m a great one in believing that the language we use conveys something greater than just words.  Hung Parliament has such negative terminologies intrinsically bound to it that it seems almost irredeemable, for me a coalition government brings possibility and hope.

So the benefits that I can foresee coming from a coalition government – again I’m sure there are more.

  1. Reform of the party political bloc vote culture – all the main parties have spoken about political reform although more from a voting system perspective.  However I feel that should a CG occur there simply cannot be a bloc vote culture if the government is to be successful.  No doubt there will be some who refuse to change and this has a risk of blocking reform however MPs will need to reflect more on their constituents views and vote accordingly rather than from the party whip.
  2. Defining a politics of agreement rather than opposition – working together in coalition would create far more agreement  because differing view points are heard and listened to in the formulation of policy in order for it to be passed.  Rather than the pantomime of opposition and the consistent negativity that that brings a more positive, inclusive form of politics could be sought.
  3. Better quality of policy made – there is greater scrutiny of each policy that is discussed.
  4. Voter representation increased – coalition governments have more voices at the table providing great representation of the electorate.
  5. Increased continuity of government business – rather than the total overhaul every few years of large majority governments continued coalition governments enable progress to continue from term to term, benefiting the country and the services provided.

For all the scaremongering that is going on currently with the idea of a hung-parliament it seems to have been forgotten that much of Western Europe and indeed many other countries in the world currently have coalition governments.  They seem to have worked well in Canada, Japan, Australia, NZ, India, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland to name a few.

So from my perspective let’s try to change the lens that we use to approach the outcomes of our General Election, let’s not only listen to negativity but open ourselves to the potential for change and for hope and let’s engage with this opportunity to use our voices.

Don’t forget the deadline to register to vote is April 20th www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

Canon 17-40 L LensHow do you see the world?  Do you live life through a particular lens?  One that shapes and colours or one that distorts and clouds?

When you walk down your road do you see friends, family and freedom or do you see homelessness, hoodies and fear?  Where do your thoughts come from, drives your decisions and brings colour to your world?

I live life through a lens – one that inspires me to try and live a life to the full, one of restoration and redemption, of challenge and discomfort, of anger at the way things are and an ultimate hope that life could be so much more.

Sadly I rarely achieve this life and end up living one of comfort, brokeness and something just a bit shallower than I’d like, however this is a daily struggle and I invite you to join me on the journey.

Jay

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