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Friday, July 01, 2005

Sometimes I just don't get foreign governments

This headline: Victory for Schroder as he loses no-confidence vote seems a little bizarre. The article tries to explain how all of this works. Still strikes me a very strange though.


Blogger The probligo said...

Having been through the mill of coalition government (there is a very a propos mis-spelling there which happened on my stiky-keyboard; leave out the "al") in its very formative stages in NZ, what Schroder has done is quite a smart move.

It works like this -

You have a minority party who are "king-makers". The largest party (the centre of the government) will not be able to govern without the support of the king maker. Effectively the "kingmaker" is a prostitute party, its votes are sold to the highest bidder.

There are quid pro quo's in the relationship. The "kingmaker" party expects to see some of its policies at least put before parliament as draft legislation, and with a reasonable expectation of them becoming law.

In this instance Schroder has decided that the coalition is not going to work in the long term.

So he pushes his coalition partner into a corner by proposing a legislative measure which is both a "matter of confidence" and political suicide for the kingmakers if they support it.

That is one broad mechanism.

The benefit is that Schroder can now turn to the electorate and say, "This was a policy measure that you said you wanted. The kingmakers called us on it and refused to support it. We have no option but to call another election. But if you want this policy, you are going to have to give us a greater share of parliament so that we do not have to rely upon Party 'X' to govern."

7/02/2005 05:48:00 PM  

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