Point-scoring and opportunist politics alienates the electorate, says Jill Segger. If the "new politics" of May 2010 is to have any meaning, politicians and party activists must find a way of combining the legitimate battle of ideas with a more consensual and creative approach to the common good.
As the new coalition government settles down, it is important to see past the hype and fear to the real issues of power, says Jill Segger. Asking tough questions of the powerful remains especially important in this new situation, with warning signs and signs of hope both in evidence.
So the Conservatives are offering the Lib Dems a referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV) system. Both Hague and Osborne have now said that they would whip their MPs to support the bill in Parliament on the basis that it is right to give voters the choice in a referendum. Note, they have made the case in moral terms because they think it is the right thing to do.
The status quo based on monopolistic politics and dominating religion is being challenged as never before, says Simon Barrow. This creates fresh and energising opportunities for cooperation across received 'religious' and 'secular' divides for a new era, and requires a new Christian vision too.