In support of their book, The Politics of Coalition: How the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government Works, which was published in June 2012, Dr. Robert Hazell and Dr. Ben Yong of UCL’s Constitution Unit delivered a talk in October highlighting some of their main findings. That talk was recorded, and is now available for general viewing online.
I strongly encourage anyone interested in coalition government and minority parliaments to watch the video (and buy the book). Drs. Hazell and Yong were given wide access to everyone who mattered – including Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, as well as ministers, MPs, Lords, civil servants and others. While they focus primarily on the coalition’s first 15 months in office, the authors also look down the road, raising important lessons political parties in the UK would do well to consider since hung parliaments are likely to be increasingly regular occurrences.
From a Canadian perspective, despite the more recent difficulties the coalition parties have encountered, it’s still very refreshing to know that elsewhere in the world, political parties are both capable of and willing to work together and that the very idea of coalition government isn’t considered something evil or unconstitutional. Canadian political parties, both federal and provincial, would do well to take note.