Friday, May 18, 2007

Rainbow Coalition

It is hard to see where the general agreement Mike German was so hopeful of, in his statement to "Waterfront" tonight, is going to come from. We and Plaid agree that Wales should have more powers, that there should be a fair voting system at all levels of government, and that council tax should go. The Conservatives are against the latter two and speak with many voices on the first.

The rediscovery by the Conservatives (in opposition, be it noted) of their belief in the freedom of the individual and of devolving power to town halls brings them into line with ourselves, but how will that chime with the authoritarian socialist strand in Plaid?

One can guarantee that not all Plaid, and not all Conservative, AMs will go along with such a coalition. Unlike the coalition with Labour, whose party discipline is well-known, the "rainbow" is likely to be fissile during its run as well.

The impression being given to the public is of a fight over ministerial seats rather than putting into place the policies which Wales voted for.

As still the largest party, Labour has first option on power in the Senedd. It is not essential that it go into coalition with anyone, though it obviously needs reassurance that it is not going to be voted down every week.

One does not even have to go as far as New Zealand to see this strategy in operation. In many local authorities, including at least one in Wales, there is a minority administration.

- Frank Little
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