Nick Clegg and the new politics of collaboration


Last night, we had for the first time in the UK a televised debate from the leaders of the three main political parties . Like most people, I thought Nick Clegg of the Liberal democrats stole the show. Gordon Brown looked tired and David Cameron was not the best on the day.

This is all fine.

However, there was one important difference.

And interestingly enough, at least one comment on the BBC website seems to have spotted that (emphasis mine) – comment no 5

Nick Clegg was the only person who talked about working across parties to solve some of society’s big problems. This is the kind of mature grown up politics we need to deal with our current problems. It is time to end this 2 party state. This isn’t a country that has to be either run by Labour or Tory. There is another way, and I and many other voters would like to see an electoral system that recognises the share of votes in this country once and for all.

Nick Clegg was the only person who talked about working across parties to solve some of society’s big problems.

Why is this important?

Collaboration could be far more important than we think in future

I know Don Tapscott, author of wikinomics – how mass collaboration changes everything from the world economic forum where we are both members.

I was discussing the future of government with Don and others at the last WEF meeting I attended and Don does a lot of cutting edge work in this space. One of the insights for collaboration I gained from wikinomics is: Collaboration is becoming pervasive. By extension, it is a key part of government going forward. Hence, the ability (and willingness) displayed by Nick Clegg in working with others across the party spectrum may be an asset rather than a liability

Indeed, the ability to collaborate may be a requirement for politicians going forward ..

Ironically, many don’t get it ..

The city thinks that a coalition government would be a liability rather than an asset and the pound actually fell on the popularity of Nick Clegg

But even the city may need to adjust its thinking more to a new way of grassroots driven political landscape which we saw first in the USA and we may well see here in the form of a government based on collaboration.

This should not surprise us. It is, after all, an impact of the Internet. Media fragments. So do votes.

This means we are likely to see cross party issue based collaboration and that’s good. Currently, only Nick Clegg seems to have sensed that.

PS: I admit I did not watch the entire debate, because it clashed with other important programs :)

Image source: wikinomics