Danny Rogers: Hung parliament is not all doom and gloom

The fierce negotiations that have taken place between politicians since the general election have been perceived in negative terms by some in the media and by various commentators on Twitter.

Danny Rogers
Danny Rogers

'A descent into the horse trading of weak European governments' was a typical comment.

Elsewhere, one senses a new maturity about the UK's political consensus that actually embraces increased discussion, negotiation and deals. Could it be another step in the gradual move of our society from deference to reference, and beyond?

Those who defend the 'first past the post' system of voting have had the rug pulled out from under their feet, as it hasn't delivered the very certainty that is supposed to be its greatest advantage.

Doomsayers had also predicted a dramatic slide in the stock market as a result of the 'uncertainty' created by a hung parliament. And yet, at the time of writing, this hadn't happened. Yes, the markets have been a little volatile, and they dipped due to the Greek economic crisis, but they quickly recovered once a European deal had been signed to limit the damage.

Another big change is that where once this 'horse trading' would have occurred in cosy political clubs, it is now taking place in the full spotlight of the media (traditional and social) and the leaders have been forced to be continuously accountable to their MPs. A large swathe of these MPs are new to Parliament, acutely aware of their responsibilities in the post-expenses scandal world, and are thus more demanding of their leaders.

Further pressure is being applied to the political leaders via single-issue pressure groups (for example, on proportional representation), which have used social media to mobilise huge numbers of potential voters.

It is true to say the election has not delivered the confident path forward that President Obama provided for the US last year, but that is because our political parties are closer to each other on policy. A full and open discussion of the way forward should not be perceived as weakness.

Where once the media could have backed a leader and then claimed it was they 'wot won it', now they have to be on their toes 24-7, ripping up their front pages by the hour.

It may feel uncertain, but conflict and scrutiny are not necessarily bad things. The turnout was almost five points up on 2005 - a sign of the healthier, more vibrant, democracy.

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