The coalition: weaker than ever

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Le couple David Cameron – Nick Clegg bat de l’aile. La coalition gouvernementale formée après les élections de mai 2010 est plus faible que jamais et la récession se prolonge en Grande-Bretagne. Les réformes institutionnelles, raison d’être de la coalition, ont été abandonnées. Le gouvernement britannique est autant en crise que l’économie du pays.

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron and Liberal Democrat deputy PM Nick Clegg have abandoned all hope of an agreement on the subject of Britain’s constitutional reforms. The Conservatives were too wary of the reform of the Lords proposed by the Liberal Democrats that would have made the House of Lords smaller and largely elected. After most Tory MPs voted against the bill, the PM also gave up his support for it.

Nick Clegg retaliated by opposing the reform of electoral boundaries cherished by the Tories. The reform would have reduced the number of MPs to 600 and ensured a more equal representation in Britain. According to experts, the reform would likely have cost the Liberal Democrats most. “The proposed change to constituency boundaries were intended to correct a strong bias in the electoral system in favour of the Labour Party”, wrote the Economist on August 11th. The reform was therefore deemed indispensable to the Tories’ political future.

The Labour Party is now higher in the polls. If elections were held today, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats would certainly lose seats. As a result, the coalition “is now held together by a fear of what would happen if it dissolved“.

To further their own political goals, the Liberal Democrats are trying hard to distance themselves from the Tories, namely by championing a more progressive tax system. Nick Clegg declared this week that he supported taxing the rich more to help reduce the deficit.

Cameron is to announce a government reshuffle early next week in an attempt to refresh the government. But only economic growth could really help him regain some popularity.

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