Friday, June 16, 2006

Livingstone in talking (some) sense shock

In relation to the assumption that Gordon Brown will become Prime Minister:
"Gordon Brown should call a snap general election if he becomes prime minister, says London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Mr Livingstone says Mr Brown would face claims that he did not have a mandate for his plans unless he went to the polls soon after succeeding Tony Blair."
The obvious comparison is with John Major, who hung around for two years before submitting to a General Election. It's often seen as a drawback of PR systems that they can, by allowing the re-making of coalitions without a vote being cast, facilitate changes of government without consulting the electorate. But it happens under our system too, as the Major experience showed. Gordon Brown might be wise to take Ken Livingstone's advice.

I doubt he will, though.

But Livingstone's idea that Brown should be elected unopposed isn't such a good one. This is the Labour party, dammit - they don't do coronations. And they shouldn't start now. Ken is right to say winning a competitive election would give a Brown administration more legitimacy - so why not within the party as well?

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