The dust has settled and we are left with a well and truly hung parliament. I won’t bore you with comment and analysis, I’m sure you are sick of it, but there is one thing we need to discuss. After what seemed to be a disasterous night for the Lib Dems, Nick Clegg is seemingly the kingmaker after all and both David Cameron and Gordon Brown have made their offers.
Only the Liberal Democrats, that most democratic of all parties, would actually consult their supporters before making such an important decision, so, if you would like to have your say, email the Lib Dem executive via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get your email in by 2pm Saturday and maybe you can influence their decision.
They ask that you include some information about who you are and why you care and, please, keep your argument brief; they will have a lot to read.
Here is the letter I sent them earlier, feel free to copy it and alter as you see fit:
***Update: I have revised my letter as I have strengthened my argument, the recommendation is the same.***
To whom it may concern,
The apparent choice is between a risky Lib/Lab pact that could go very wrong but which also represents our best chance of getting PR and some safer options, including a Lib/Con pact or no pact at all.
I believe that is a mistaken interpretation of the options. The truth is a Lib/Lab pact with a slim chance of reform vs the certain decline of the party, the only question being how fast. Put that way, the risky chance of reform is not only the best choice, it is the only sensible choice.
I believe this because while we have FPTP the only way to get serious power is to leap-frog one of the other parties and go from 20 to 40% of the popular vote overnight. This will self-evidently never happen. We cannot achieve 40% based on a slow continual increase because when we get to around 25% and three similarly strong parties FPTP breaks down and delivers a hung parliament. This is always followed by a reset where the smallest party is cast down by the electorate – not because they don’t want to vote that way but because their votes will be wasted if they do. It happened in 1974 and it is happening again now. It makes no difference what we do, if we do not get PR, the party will decline and it may take us 35 years to regain our current position.
Uniquely this time, the public wanted a hung parliament, they are calling for PR and are setting up demonstrations and petitions (25000 names in 18 hours!) to show that that is the case. If we let them down by failing to grab this opportunity, they will not forgive us and the punishment and the fall will be swift and far.