As of last Thursday we are nearer to next Christmas than we are to last Christmas.I set up this blog to comment on the last Assembly election, in fits and starts it has kept on going. Incredibly we are now nearer the next Assembly election than we are to the last one. How time flies when one is enjoying oneself! Time to start looking forward to 2011, perhaps, rather than harping back to 2007!
One thing that has become clear since the inception of the Assembly is that the chances of having a single party majority government, under the current system of election, is highly unlikely. We are either going to have a coalition government or a minority government (which is a coalition of opposition, in all but name).
The way that the parties have dealt with the inevitability of coalition over the past 10 years is by creating commissions, conventions and committees to deal with contentious issues and by doing so, passing the buck to others.
By voting for Assembly Members we employ THEM to make difficult decisions, we don't employ them to employ others to take the difficult decisions away!
I have nothing against consultation or seeking expert opinion when it is used for the best of reasons. But using consultation and seeking expert opinion to procrastinate on contentious coalition issues is an abuse of process for the worst of reasons. It stifles good governance and it makes a mockery of democracy!
As they look forward to the next Assembly elections and start to prepare for the possibility of being in a coalition, all parties must consider what their red line issue are, what they won't compromise on. And to make it clear to the electorate that those issues will be dealt with, by the Assembly, rather than by some Santa Clause Commission.