Over at The Guardian’s Comment is Free website, Lib Dem blogger James Graham offers his take on the deal between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives. He describes his sense of betrayal by Labour:
Over the weekend, it would appear, Labour’s appetite for power evaporated … The fact that two of the things the Labour negotiating team would not even contemplate was dismantling the database state and ending the detention of immigrant children makes you realise quite how corrupted the party has become in office.
And his fears for the Lib Dems’ future popularity:
… as students of political systems where balanced parliaments are the norm, we are well aware that junior partners of coalitions are typically punished at the ballot box. The fact that this government will have to preside over the toughest deficit reduction spending round in decades makes this look even more likely. … Of the 57 MPs who unanimously endorsed this plan early this morning, most did so in the knowledge that there is a strong possibility they were voting for their own political annihilation.
James outlines three specific areas of concern he has about the deal, but concludes optimistically:
But overall, the deal looks like it is a good one, and a liberal one. If we can make this of all coalition governments work, then the case against hung parliaments – and thus one of the strongest arguments against electoral reform – will have been destroyed. I worry for my party, but am immensely proud of it this morning.
You can read his post in full here.
Steve Webb, another Lib Dem identified with the social liberal wing of the party, has set out his reasons for agreeing to the deal on his own blog here. Here’s his final concluding paragraph:
Clearly, the jointly agreed programme does not give us everything we want as Lib Dems. But it means that a lot more Liberal Democrat policy and principles will be put into practice in government than any of us could have dreamed just a few weeks ago. Let us hope that we can now demonstrate that different political parties can work together for the good of the country.