Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Hung parliament or Negotiated Government

The British election has ended with no clear party having a majority. The term being used is that there is a hung parliament and that it will be ineffective because no one party can carry out its manifesto. There are rumours that even if a majority coalition is formed that the government will not last its full term. Why such fear and scaremongering? Clearly the people didn't want all the policies of any party. They want some blend of the policies. The parties need to get on and govern looking for the common ground and negotiating for policy decisions.

The foundation for these fears and the attitudes expressed is that of confrontation and domination. If I have the majority then I must be right and you must be wrong. You will acquiesce to my decisions. Wake up, none of us have all the answers. We need to learn the art of listening and negotiating and move away from confrontational politics. We also need to be questioning the assumptions that form our opinions and expectations.

Parliament is a place where a standard can be set for society. If we have confrontation at the top then we should expect it throughout society. If we have leaders who are prepared to listen and learn then society has a chance of also listening and learning.

My call is that the parties making up the new parliament come to agreement on who will lead the government and who will fill the ministerial posts. Let them look for the best person to fill the position and not simply the person who belongs to a particular party. The person who takes up the Prime Minister role is the person who can get the groups to work together. Let them not form a fixed coalition but rather negotiate in order to achieve specific goals, objectives, and solutions. Let them look for ways to resolve problems rather than argue over problems. Let them also recognise that the majority isn't always right. The minority also needs a voice.

Above all else, any call for new elections is a recognition of failure on the part of the elected MPs.

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