The United Kingdom’s Coalition Government: Happily Ever After

Another student guest post, this one on the UK’s current governing coalition.  I almost feel like the title might deserve a question mark at the end!


In 2010, the Conservative Party won most of the seats, which was 307, in the United Kingdom’s general election with 36.1% of the votes. However, this number was not high enough for the Conservative Party to secure on overall majority in the House of Commons. In order to achieve the majority in the House of Commons, the Conservative Party, formed a minimal winning coalition government with the Liberal Democratic Party. After the 2010 election, the Liberal Democratic Party received 23% of the votes giving them 57 seats in the House of Commons. The leaders of these two parties, David Cameron (CON) and Nick Clegg (LD) reached a deal for a coalition government for which they would be united based on three key principles: freedom, fairness, and responsibility.

With this new administration, David Cameron holds the role of Prime Minister as Nick Clegg was appointed Deputy Minister. In the media, there has been a linking between this coalition government and marriage. As David Cameron and Nick Clegg pledge a united coalition government, there has been a substantial degree of compromise seen between these two leaders, linking them together through a holy union. For example, the Liberal Democrats gained five seats in the new Cabinet and twenty ministerial jobs which will help different policies formulate. In addition to Nick Clegg becoming Deputy Prime Minister, the Liberal Democratic Party will take control of the business, energy and climate change ministries. But the Conservative Party and David Cameron are not the only ones making changes.

This type of government, or union nonetheless, would not function with a one-sided compromise. Therefore, the Liberal Democrats have agreed to support specific policies that the Conservative Party has proposed. For example, Nick Clegg and his party have agreed to back the Conservatives’ plan for public spending cuts totaling to £26 billion. In addition, the Liberal Democrats have also agreed that no further powers should be given to the European Union without a referendum. With these agreements, the two parties have reached a common level of understanding that promotes the freedoms of the people of the United Kingdom. With this centre right government coalition, leaders David Cameron and Nick Clegg show promise within this union. However, with any marriage there are skeptics. In this case, the euro skeptics and hard core activists are resistant in fully trusting this form of government, which could potentially undermine public support. By listening to one another, these leaders have created mutual compromise within the government. With this coalition government, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have strengthened their visions of the two parties coming together to create a better United Kingdom.

References

BBC News – David Cameron and Nick Clegg pledge ‘united’ coalition. (n.d.). BBC News – Home.  Retrieved March 21, 2012, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8676607.stm

Can David Cameron keep new UK coalition government together? – CSMonitor.com. (n.d.). The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com. Retrieved March 21, 2012, from http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0512/Can-David-Cameron-keep-new-UK-coalition-government-together

Parties and Elections in Europe. (n.d.). Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved March 21, 2012, from http://www.parties-and-elections.de/countries.html

The Coalition: our programme for government. (n.d.). The Official Site for the British Prime Minister’s Office. Retrieved March 21, 2012, from www.number10.gov.uk/news/the-coalition-our-programme-for-government-2/

UK coalition government: How the world reacted. The Guardian . Retrieved March 21, 2012, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/12/coalition-government-world-reaction

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