Labour feeling pressure from Lib Dems, not quite sure how to handle it
A few days ago, the Nexus asked the question of whether or not the Labour Party was feeling the pressure being applied by the Liberal Democratic Party.
As it turns out, they are feeling the pressure, as the most recent polls have the Liberal Democrats inching closer to contending for power on May 6.
The problem for Labour is that they don't seem to know how they're going to cope with that pressure.
Lord Andrew Adonis, the current Secretary of Transportation, has called on Lib Dem voters to vote strategically to prevent a Tory government, and has reportedly been working toward the establishment of a post-election agreement.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown reportedly sanctioned Adonis' efforts.
Then, he promptly went on the attack, doing whatever he can to try to sour that particular well.
"The Liberal Democrats have got to be exposed," Brown recently announced. "I think they have made a mistake in their economic policy. Why do they want to cut child tax credits? I think that is unfair. Why do they want to cut child trust funds?"
This, of course, should deliver something of a death blow to Lord Adonis' claims that the Liberal Democratic platform is "just like Labour’s." While Lord Adonis insists that the two party's platforms are similar in the sense that they're both social democratic documents, it seems that Brown thinks of this election as far less of a "two against one contest" than does his Transport Secretary.
If Gordon Brown does intend to negotiate a post-election deal with the Lib Dems to keep power, one has to imagine how, precisely, he will do it after having attacked their platform during the election.
Perhaps proving himself to be a true political heavyweight is more important to Brown than maintaining a coherent front with his Labour fellows.
But then perhaps the idea of a deal isn't off the table at all. As Canadians can attest, political parties can try some awfully strange things when the prospect of keeping power -- or gaining it -- is on the table.