British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Monday that he will step down to allow for Labor Party talks on a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats.
Brown's announcement came in response to growing concerns in the Labor Party that a Liberal Democrat-Conservative pact was gaining ground.
The prime minister asserted that it is in the interests of the whole country to form a "progressive coalition government" and that he intends to ask the Labor Party "to set in train the processes needed for its own leadership election.”
Labor and the Liberal Democrats had been holding informal talks since last Friday. Upon the news of his resignation, the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg remarked that it was "an important event which could help ensure a smooth transition to the stable government that everyone deserves.”
With Brown stepping down from power, there is a glimmer of hope for the formation of a "traffic light coalition." The coalition (between the red of Labor, yellow of Liberal Democrats and the Green), as well as the Scottish and Welsh nationalists, non-Unionists, and an Ulster independent, however, falls just short of a majority.
But the Conservatives do not intend to give up the fight so easily. It now seems that the Conservatives would be willing to accept a referendum on the voting system that supports an Alternative Vote system, a major concession by the Tories. Nick Clegg presented the power-sharing deal outlined by negotiations with the Tories to his MPs yesterday afternoon. Liberal Democrat party talks will continue today to sort out which side they will be joining.
Playing the role of 'kingmaker,' the Liberal Democrats, including Nick Clegg and other colleagues, will most likely be heading into the Cabinet by the end of the week.