LEDARSKAP | Koalitionen i Storbritannien har likande problem som den svenska alliansregeringen.
Trots att den engelska alliansen bara består av två partier – Conservatives och Liberal Democrats – har man liknande problem både internt och vad gäller opinionssiffrorna.
Inte minst det lilla liberala partiet har problem att hävda sig i skuggan av det stora konservativa partiet.
Och precis som i Sverige leder Labour över de konservativa i opinionsmätningar.
Trots sina problem har liberaldemokraternas partiledare Nick Clegg valt att satsa allt på ett kort. Hans strategi är att ett fördjupat samarbetet med premiärminister David Cameron kommer att leda till väljarframgångar längre fram.
Det spekuleras ständig om detta är en självmordsstrategi för Clegg och hans parti.
En som tror att detta innebär slutet för åtminstone Clegg själv är James Forsyth, politisk redaktör, på konservativa The Spectator.
Now, the Deputy Prime Minister has decided to double down on coalition. He has concluded that the Lib Dems, rather than blocking Conservative ideas, must help push through bold solutions to big problems. It is a brave path to take — but Clegg’s reward will not come in this political life. Whether he knows it or not, his fate is to become a martyr to the coalition.
Perhaps the key to understanding Clegg is that he never quite expected the dark side of being in power: he lacks the coping mechanisms of his Conservative colleagues. When the financial crisis hit, and spending cuts became essential, David Cameron and George Osborne steeled themselves to wear unpopularity as a badge of honour in the same way Margaret Thatcher had done.
This decision to revivify the coalition is motivated both by a desire to govern effectively and by a belief that public argument has only helped Labour, which leads by 15 points according to one survey this week.
Those around Clegg are unwilling to accept that he’ll be a martyr. The newly united government, they hope, will start not only to get things done but to get credit for doing them; and a recovering economy will restore their leader’s fortunes. The Lib Dems’ polling shows they are finally getting credit from the voters for the cut in the basic rate of income tax. This gives them hope that things are beginning to turn for the party.
Even so, Clegg is doomed. The problem was identified at the start of the year by Andrew Cooper, the Prime Minister’s director of strategy, in a private presentation to the trustees of Policy Exchange. Clegg’s brand is poisoned; his party’s isn’t. The compromises and broken promises of coalition have, according to Cooper’s exhaustive number-crunching, done irreparable damage to the Deputy Prime Minister’s reputation. Other polling makes the point even clearer. Ask people how they would vote if Vince Cable, not Clegg, was Liberal Democrat leader and the ratings jump three or four points. This might not seem much. But for a party struggling to break double digits in the polls, it is a transformation. This is why Clegg’s martyrdom is inevitable. However loyal his Commons army is, they will eventually have to sacrifice him for the good of the party.
Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är The Spectator den 22 september 2012.