Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A coalition marks 100 days

Here's Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg on the U.K. coalition, briefly, as it reaches 100 days:



The Guardian editorializes on the occasion and the very newness of this coalition in the British Westminster system:
Franklin Roosevelt's insistence in 1933 that he should be judged by the changes wrought in his first 100 days in office has raised the bar high for less distinguished governments across the democratic world, not least in Britain. In the years since Roosevelt, the habit of marking a government's first 100 days has sometimes been banal. But maybe not in Britain in 2010. As David Cameron's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government reaches its century this week, we are living in very new times.

The principal novelty of this government is simply that it is a formal coalition. Britain has never before had a genuine peacetime coalition government between parties in the universal suffrage era. For us, this is territory without maps. Coalitions mean doing things differently, giving and taking, swallowing some things while insisting on others. This reality still takes some getting used to, and many have neither accustomed themselves to it nor even tried. So far, to judge by the Guardian's new ICM poll today, the public still seem to like the coalition, Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg. The enthusiasm is ebbing, though the mood will doubtless change again as time goes on.
There's lots of other analysis to be had about the state of the U.K. coalition government, how well the buddy movie is going, the rocky shores on the horizon, and all other sorts of turns of speech anyone cares to apply to the new fangled mode of governing that people have incomprehensibly seemed to adjust to thus far.

Meanwhile, yesterday, here in Harperland, someone was still crying wolf about baddie coalitions, as a routine matter in speeches to Conservatives now.

The educational contrast rolls on!