19 May 2010

Britain Reaps Benefits of Having Moderate Political Force Between Left And Right

Ah, the benefits of having a moderate political party to mediate between the left and the right. It seems that the Liberal Democrats (the British successors to the Whigs) are already receiving rave reviews here in the United States:

Houston Chronicle: Britain's fresh start: Coalition government offers a contrast to partisan dysfunction plaguing Washington

... [W]e can't help but notice the obvious contrast: The coalition between conservative and liberal forged by Cameron and Clegg is quite unlike anything that seems even remotely possible in today's divided Washington. More's the pity. The issues troubling both British and American voters are much the same: Jobs. Immigration. Mounting debt.

The Cameron-Clegg coalition offers the hope of accomplishing at least one constructive thing that seems out of reach here — turning down the rhetorical volume on the most divisive issues.

Some observers are already predicting early failure for the Cameron-Clegg political marriage. But the signs of cooperation are encouraging: In preliminary discussions, the conservative positions on preserving the nation's nuclear system and denying benefits to illegal immigrants prevailed, while the Liberal Democrats won out on tax reform.

The policy stakes facing the new government in Westminster may just be big and bad enough to trump politics as usual.

Maybe Washington should take a lesson.

Now that we have seen the benefits, let's do the same thing here in America.

I could go for a government "not insecure about relinquishing control", for the public to nominate laws to be repealed, as part of a "power revolution" and to "transform our politics so the state has far less control over you, and you have far more control over the state".

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