Comparing coalitions in Wales and Westminster

Mark Drakeford is a Professor of social policy and applied social sciences at Cardiff University. For ten years he was the Cabinet’s social policy adviser at the Welsh Assembly Government and, latterly, head of the first minister’s political office. He is now the prospective Labour candidate for the Cardiff West consituency, following Rhodri Morgan’s decision to retire from the Assembly.

Recent stresses and strains in the Westminster coalition have largely been dismissed by those involved in them as simply the sort of thing to be expected when two Parties come together to form a government. The argument set out here is that many of the fissures springing open between the Conservatives and Lib Dems are inherent, not in coalitions per se, but in the particular ways in which this specific coalition has been constructed and managed.

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