The general election result seems a long time ago now and we are still waiting for the result. No doubt everyone has made studious notes of the last few days for their forthcoming memoirs but in the meantime we are still in the dark.
My own view is rather straight forward.
1. Nick Clegg was right to start negotiations with the Conservative party. With 36%, they got more votes and more seats than Labour and together we can form a stable government if we concentrate on common ground.
2. Voting reform MUST be one of the results of any negotiations. The party have fought for that for years – we simply cannot keep up a discredited unrepresentative unfair system.
3. Alternative vote is NOT proportional representation. We will only have one chance to change the system – let’s get it right first time.
4. We must NOT enter a deal with Labour. The election was clearly a rejection of Labour’s record and policies and to put together a Lab-Lib Dem government would be ridiculous, especially with Gordon Brown STILL running things.
5. If we cannot make a deal with the Conservatives then at least we can say we have tried. David Cameron can then run a minority government and our MPs can vote with him on an issue by issue basis, such as abolishing ID cards, education investment and the low carbon economy.
6. We will thus be sticking to our principles and if we are facing the electorate again in a few months, we can say that we tried to provide stable government but it was not possible.
Gordon Brown’s departure is welcome – and I am sure we all wish him well – but he should have gone on Friday morning not in a few months time.