Ten days ago, Nick Clegg, leader of a small party known as the Liberal Democrats, appeared in the first ever televised debate with Gordon Brown and David Cameron, leaders respectively of the Labour and Tory parties. He blew them away.
In ten days time, the nation goes to the polls. For the first time since 1945, the pollsters haven’t a clue who will win. This is because the electoral system is broken. An MP can be elected with less than 34% of the votes cast in a constituency and indeed will be next Thursday week. This is clearly unfair and undemocratic. The Labour Government has had 13 years to fix it, to fix the House of Lords and to make MEPs accountable to our Parliament………..
Though all the media attention is on the Lib Dems there are other stories in the margins waiting to break. Will David Cameron survive, if he does not deliver a Tory victory which seemed so certain, um, ten days ago and, oh yes, what happens to the Labour party itself if it comes third in the number of votes cast rather than in seats won?
But, for me, the importance of the televised debates (did Sky ever publish the number of viewers who watched the second debate, if it did I missed them) is the unasked question as to whether what actually is happening is the nation groping for a President not a Prime Minister. That’s why Clegg has done so well and that’s why Cameron hasn’t. Clegg sits above the two-party system.
How would a President work in the UK experience?
Well, we already have three parliaments for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, irrespective of what they are called. We do not have anything for the English. Four lower parliaments would need to be held together inside the UK by an over-arching House of Representatives of the four nations and on top of that would sit a President not a monarch.
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