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Canada’s lesson for Britain: voting systems matter

Britain votes this week on its voting system, but the news today is from Canada, where Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, after two terms of minority government, has won a majority.

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Global worming, aka Mr Squiggly with bias

Killjoy academics have struck. The worm, it seems, is positively undemocratic.

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MacKerras: the conservative case for electoral reform across the Anglosphere

The Conservative Party got the better of the Liberal-Democrats in the negotiations for coalition government. And a new electoral reform agenda will likely go their way, too.

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Crikey Blogs | EUROPE|

Coalition strains in the UK

The coalition in the UK between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats struck Richard Farmer as mightily strange from the moment it was formed. It’s like the Australian Democrats supporting the GST — the party never recovered from that.

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Rundle: faith, hope and clarity? Nah, it’s faith no more

If there’s a mood that’s common to the UK and Australia at the moment, it’s one of political bad faith, the desperate scramble for evidence to back up a case one has already decided.

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Hung parliaments around the world

Australia is in political limbo. To address the concerns Crikey takes a look at other hung parliaments around the world — and the only previous federal one in Australia — to see exactly how everyone else coped or is coping.

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The Guardian | EUROPE|

Nick Clegg: “We’re going to do this differently”

UK Liberal-Democrats leader Nick Clegg gives an interesting interview about the “rollercoaster” of UK politics, from Cleggmania to working with David Cameron. He promises there won’t be a return to the 1980s.

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Rundle’s UK: Con-LibDems actually want to limit CCTV? Well blow me down.

As it turned out, both the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems said enough was enough on Britain’s Orwellian surveillance state. Who’d a thunk it?

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The Age | FEDERAL|

Grattan: What if our federal election result was like the UK’s?

With the 50-50 polling between Abbott and Rudd, a hung parliament is a possibility. So how would it play out? It’d be down to the Independents, two of whom are former Nationals, writes Michelle Grattan.

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MacKerras: still a bias, albeit reduced, in UK election system

Finally, the British people are to get a referendum for what they call “the alternative vote”.

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UK Labour wrestles with the ghosts of Iraq

Britain’s Labour Party is engaged in the search for a new leader, with the Iraq War set to be a decisive issue. Will it destroy any chance for hopeful David Miliband?

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Britain set for constitutional shake-up

Britain’s new Liberal-Conservative coalition government seems determined to hit the ground running and they are promising constitutional reform. What do they have planned?

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The Times (UK) | EUROPE|

Clegg vs. Cameron: who’s the poshest?

The English class system is confusing, with David Cameron’s “Eton-Oxford-country-clubby-cutglass-shooting party” posh against Nick Clegg’s “Westminster-Cambridge- metropolitan-foreign-glottalstop-trustfund” posh. Who looks down on whom?

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‘Miaow, Prime Minister’: the bureaucats of Downing Street

As David Cameron prepares to move into No.10 Downing Street, a vastly more important British civil service post has yet to be filled: the resident Downing Street cat. It has strong historical significance.

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The Guardian | EUROPE|

I was a real-life Malcolm Tucker to Jack Straw

Mark Davies spills on his five years working as a special adviser to UK Lord Chancellor Jack Shaw and his rather quiet life post-election. No blackberry, no emails, no 24/7 work mentality.

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That’s not a Great Big New Tax — THIS is a Great Big New Tax

You want a big new tax? The RSPT is just mucking around. The Tories have gone large in their tax increase plans — with plenty of help from their Lib-Dem partners

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The Guardian | EUROPE|

PHOTO GALLERY: Gordon Brown’s last day

A sad photo gallery of Gordon Brown’s final moments at Number 10, as he takes the killer phone call from Nick Clegg and then the drawings by Brown’s children are removed from the walls.

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Clegg and Cameron: common interests, common enemies

Don’t be surprised if Nick Clegg and David Cameron find themselves on the same side in cabinet more often than not. Were it not for the different coloured ties, it would often be difficult to tell them apart.

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Rundle’s UK: Con Lib-Dems divide up the spoils, dim-sum style

The first meeting of the UK’s coalition cabinet looked about as dignified as one of those casual get-togethers at a Chinese restaurant where everyone brings extra guests, and you’ve got your elbow in ginger beef all evening.

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Slate | EUROPE|

Moving out of Number 10

Gordon Brown resigned as UK PM and 90 minutes later David Cameron was waltzing through the door of Number 10 Downing Street. How did Brown manage to pack up so quickly?

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Leaders who have ‘fallen on their sword’

With Gordon Brown’s resignation following the UK Election, there’s much talk of the man having “fallen on his sword”. But Brown got off lightly compared to samurai days, writes Mike Stuchbery.

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Rundle’s UK: the Clegg and Cameron double act — not particularly funny

The new “marriage” between David Cameron and Nick Clegg is already getting relationship advice. A fixed five year term is bold. It may well also be unconstitutional, but that discussion is still playing out.

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The Times (UK) | EUROPE|

What chimps tell us about the new UK government

Chimps often form strategic alliances to seize and keep control of their colonies, but it all turns wild if they don’t actually like each other. Will Cameron and Clegg’s primal differences be too much to overcome?

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Meet the new odd couple: Cameron and Clegg

The UK’s new leaders, Conservative David Cameron and Lib Dem Nick Clegg, have given their first performance as a double-act, exchanging jokes and witty banter. But are they the new Crosby and Hope or Beavis and Butthead? Watch their full presser here.

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Richardson: The unhappy history of British coalitions

Disraeli’s famous line that “England does not love coalitions” will once again be put to the test, and for the Liberal Democrats, a coalition comes with particularly bad precedents.

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