A few thoughts on the UK election.

A few thoughts on next Thursday’s vote in the UK:

1. Unless they can deliver on PR, the Lib Dems should stay out of the next coalition. Coalition is a maturing process that scares off fairweather friends and utopians. The Lib Dem party going into opposition, seasoned with former minister, can rebuild as a pragmatic party of the rational centre.

2. Having said that, the Lib Dems public spending promises this time out have been decidedly left-wing. It needs to be careful about becoming Labour-lite, and not apologise for doing so.

3. It will be an absolute scandal that UKIP, the third party nationally in terms of votes cast by ordinary Brits, will come behind the Lib Dems, SNP, DUP, Sinn Fein, Plaid Cymru and possibly even the SDLP in terms of seats. Like them or not, they are the legitimate voice of a substantial section of British voters.

4. British politicians need to get over themselves in terms of “firm government” and banging on about the chaos of coalition or minority government negotiations. Britain is a stable country that will tip along just grand even if its pols take a while to hammer out a deal. Just as the Israelis, Kiwis, Irish, Dutch, Belgians, Swedes, Germans, Italians, Danes, Finns, Norwegians, Portuguese and Poles do. Get over yourselves.

5. British politics will be worse off if Naomi Long and Nick Clegg lose their seats, and more boring if Nigel Farage doesn’t win one.

6. (additional point added later) Interesting that of the 10 parties with seats in the Commons, only 4 are led by people with seats actually in Parliament. Shows the impact of regional and European Parliaments in providing voices/platforms. Especially, ironically, for UKIP, which has been given much more assistance representing its voters by the European Parliament than Westminster ever did.

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