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LONDON, U.K. — Why are we waiting?
Why-eye are we waiting?
Why are we wai-ting?
Oh, why, why, why?
Sung to the tune of "O Come All Ye Faithful" the above is a Rugby song, probably known to the "Public" school blokes trying to figure out who is going to form Britain's next government.
Negotiations are ongoing between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the parties that came in first and third respectively in last week's election. But as time goes by it is becoming blindingly obvious to the rest of the country that a true coalition between the two parties is simply not possible.
The Conservative rank and file are just dead set against a meaningful step towards the Lib Dems' demands for electoral reform. The Lib Dems aren't going to budge. They got close to a quarter of the vote on Thursday and ended up with fewer than one-tenth of the seats.
Then there is the question of what and how fast to cut Britain's budget to begin the painful process of reducing the nation's debt. Lib Dems want to spread the burden. Tories want to slash and burn everything in their path.
If people were cynical about politics going into the election, an alliance in which either side compromises past core principles will make them genuinely angry.
Meanwhile the general mood in the country is that Prime Minister Gordon Brown should resign. The Observer, sister paper to the left-leaning Guardian, makes that point in a lead editorial. It advocates Brown going and the Liberals and Labour forming an alliance.
Nick Clegg should enjoy his moment of power. Once his decision is made: Conservatives. Labour or no one, a government of some kind will take office and the Lib Dems may find themselves gently returning to their traditional status of unelectable.
Well, if you fancy a bet, I would say the odds are that Clegg won't get into bed with David Cameron and the latter will form a government without anyone else and take his chances on trying to get his legislative program through parliament.
Like most in Britain, I would like for the wait to be over ... but you can't fast-forward reality so we'll all just have to be patient.