After an an incredible few days, as I write this it looks like the UK will be governed by a coalition of David Cameron's Conservative Party and Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats. Hopefully this gives us a strong and stable government.
I do feel some hope as I have been very impressed (and pleasantly surprised) at the responsible approach taken by politicians of all three parties, given the hung parliament that they had to work with.
The challenge of concocting a government where no party has a majority and the only two parties that could muster one between them are not natural bedfellows is quite an ask.
Gordon Brown agreed that these two parties should speak first while carrying out his constitutional duty to maintain the role of Prime Minister until a new government could be formed (far from squatting in Number 10 as the Sun rather shamefully called it). Both Nick Clegg and David Cameron appear to have treated these talks with the seriousness they deserve. Gordon Brown then offered to step down so that if these two could not agree, the politically more obvious (but mathematically more challenging) pairing of Labour and the Lib Dems could become a possibility without his baggage. Nick Clegg then explored this avenue, although it appears to have come to nothing.
Throughout all of this all three parties seem to have acted responsibly and without the usual mudslinging. There may be hope for our parliamentary democracy yet.
As for our press, that's a different matter. A surprising (and rather shocking) number of members of the press don't seem to understand how a parliamentary democracy works.
For a prime example take a look at Adam Boulton's (Sky's main news anchor) remarkable outburst on Sky News below (even Alistair Campbell looked responsible and statesmanlike in comparison):
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