There is a growing wonderment amongst some of the political observers whether or not Cameron and Clegg have a plan to merge their parties. The college buddies, now Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, are at times rather hard to tell apart .
What sent imaginations and minds awandering was the fact that Cameron has agreed to hold a referendum on the so-called “alternative voting” system on the same day as local elections next year. bit.ly/a4MCd8 This will maximise the potential voters for the referendum and have a larger turnout than a referendum on its own. In this age of austerity it will save quite a bit of money, as everything is already set up for the local election cycle.
It looks as if the leaders of each of the two parties are set to address their coalition partner’s party conference this autumn. This is seen as quite unusual and activists not that keen on the coalition are perturbed. Frasier Nelson speculates on what the two Cs are up to over at the News of the World. bit.ly/9T1XUy
“Deep down, I suspect Cam feels the old party system doesn’t work, and that ‘Labour’ and ‘Tory’ are becoming useless labels. So he may seek to create a lasting ‘Liberal Conservative’ alliance here and now….Unless Cameron agrees NOT to stand Tory candidates against vulnerable Lib Dems. But if that happens, the two parties become one.”
The uneasiness of what is going has affected Conservative grandee and Lady Thatcher favorite Norman Tebbit. He writes on his excellent and fascinating blog. bit.ly/ddPjSK
“… but there is a suspicion of a deal stitched up to save his best friend Mr Clegg from losing and flouncing out of the Coalition. Indeed, some think it might go further than that and be part of a plan to realign the Conservative Party to facilitate a merger with the Right wing of the Lib Dems.”
Its not just the “mushy” middle that is cosying up either. In a move that harkens back to the days of the Maastricht Treaty battle in the House of Commons, the right of the Conservative Party (who have been completely cut out of the ConDem Coalition) and Labour MPs are banding together. This time what brings them together is the worry there is a plan in the works to help the Lib-Dems retain their seats at the next election.
Melanie Philips joins in the speculation Cameron & Clegg are attempting to re-align British Politics to the center.bit.ly/bnSiuK
“One can see therefore how Liberal Conservatism may be about to be born. It is possible that the knitted yoghurt wing of the LibDems will become so upset about public spending cuts that they could peel off and join the Miliband of brothers in the Labour party, while the Lib-Dem ‘Orange Book’ tendency would have no problem merging with the liberty-loving Cameroons. Yes, the EU might be a problem – but I guess that Cameron isn’t going to rock the EU to its foundations, and so the LibDems will find they can live with him on that too.”
Of course wags will advise this all summer “silly season” speculation. That said the new ConDem coalition and the firmness of the Cameron/Clegg dynamic duo could make this possible. The political landscape at the next election may well be very different whether or not Clegg gets his AV referendum win.