18 November 2006

Marriage of inconvenience

The Coalition is facing one of its periodic difficulties at the moment, thanks to two rows. The first concerns Karen Whitefield's Bill to prevent large stores from opening on Christmas or New Year's Day: Labour backbenchers are supporting the Bill, where the LibDems are cooler towards the idea. The Executive are trying to compromise, by suggesting that trading be banned only on Christmas Day and not New Year's Day. Labour backbenchers are threatening to revolt against any such plan.

The more serious tensions, however, come over the differing parties' plans for the Local Elections' ballot paper next May: Labour want candidates to be grouped by party. Other parties, including the LibDems, see this as a ploy to help ensure that First Preference votes for one candidate from a party transfer more to other candidates from the same party. Seeing as it's Labour who are more likely to have multiple candidates in Council wards, this is more likely to benefit them. You can see why the other parties smell a rat. However, the situation is so serious that Labour is now courting the Conservative MSPs for support. I don't see them getting it, unless the Tories have completely taken leave of their sens... never mind.

No comments: