Friday, 7 May 2010

Hung Up on "Hung" Parliament

"The German for 'hung parliament' is simply 'parliament', because the system of proportional representation the Federal Republic adopted in 1949 routinely produces parliaments with no overall majority... Yet somehow Germany today does not seem to resemble the ghastly chaos with which the Daily Mail and the Sun are now trying to scare their readers."

"Germany does show that you can run an effective economic policy with coalition governments; and Greece shows that you can run a lousy one with a clear single-party majority. It all depends who does it and how."

"There was a time, about 10 years ago, when I heard some Germans arguing that they needed Britain's first-past-the-post electoral system. Only thus could Germany get decisive economic reforms, to pull it out of its post-unification trough. But the last decade has proved those siren voices wrong. Germany has made tough economic adjustments, forcing down unit labour costs, and it has done so largely in co-operation with the unions. German-style "change through consensus" takes longer than the Margaret Thatcher-type, but is less socially divisive and ultimately more durable."

Ash, T.G. (2010) British Politicians will Need to Act More Like the Germans – Only Faster. [Online]
Sontheimer, M. (2010) Hung Parliament in the UK: A Very Un-British Election Result. [Online],1518,693603,00.html [07/05/2010]