The 55% plan has to go!
If I had my way I’d drop the fixed term Parliament also.
I’ve already expressed my doubts about the wisdom of tinkering with our unwritten constitution, but the plan to put in place a 55% rule before the House of Commons can call for its own dissolution is probably a step too far, and one which I believe, even a large number of Conservative MPs will not be able to stomach. It was likely that the idea was promulgated during the coalition negotiations between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives as a means of giving a bit more away to little bit of security to Nick Clegg, but it has left a situation whereby the government could lose a major vote of confidence, let’s say after a budget defeat, yet still remain in office because no combination of parties could muster the 55% majority.
Putting the mechanics and the mathematics to one side, the political antennae should tell them that the public would be full of distrust and more likely outraged that a government which cannot rely on support in the House of Commons somehow cobbles together new arrangements behind closed doors to stay in power.
Put your thinking cap on Messrs. Cameron and Clegg, this one is not going to be popular (and neither would an unpopular government cheer us up when it is stuck there for five years.)