Would it have been tribal war almost every night?
The attempted Labour filibuster this week to stop the fees votes was a reminder of how important it is for the government, in coalition or not, to have enough MPs available to thwart attempts to stop business going through.
Just imagine if instead of the current partnership the Lib Dems and Labour had been part of a “Rainbow Coalition”? With 307 of the 650 MPs the blues would have been able to play havoc night after night after night.
The reds and yellows might or might not been able to rely on SNP/PC/GRN support but there would have been knife edge votes all the time.
It would have been like the final chaotic years of the Callaghan government in the late 70s when those with the voting power to trade were able to extract concessions with each key vote. It was against that background that there was the famous “winter of discontent” in 1978/79.
We also some similar problems in the final part of the 1992-1997 parliament when John Major had lost a working majority.
Whether you agree with it or not the coalition does, for most of the time, provide a base of stability.