Saturday, May 26, 2007
Three Ferrets in a Sack
That was the delightful description by Roger Roberts (and he was in favour!) of the possible Plaid-Tory-LibDem coalition at today's special members conference at Llandrindod Wells. The conference agreed that it was a bold step, but voted 125-77 in favour of the proposition that "Conference endorses the proposals in Working Together for Wales as the basis for forming the government in the National Assembly".
Supporters pointed to the successful operation of "rainbow coalitions" in Swansea, Bridgend, Cardiff and Wrexham. The working document (The All-Wales Accord) contained about 75% LibDem policies and that this was the best chance we had of putting them into effect. STV elections for local government and smaller class sizes were valuable prizes to be gained.
Many felt we should respond to the electorate, who had largely rejected Labour - only 32% of the vote - and who were looking to the other parties to come together to provide stable government.
To those of us who were concerned that the Plaid policies which had been introduced were uncosted, Mike German promised that a positive vote would enable him to go to the civil service to refine the cost estimates. There had not been time to do this on the tight time-scale of the selection of a new First Minister.
There were no illusions that the coalition would be easy, but the Accord was in the nature of a contract which could be enforced on AMs of the member parties.